Documents to download

Sugar consumption, and its links to a range of health conditions have made it a long-standing focus for policymakers in the UK and internationally. The World Health Organisation recently published a guideline on population level consumption limts, to enable countries to translate their recommendations into national dietary guidelines. In the UK, a government committee advising the Department of Health is undertaking a similar exercise; its report on carbohydrates and health is expected later in 2015. In a draft report released in 2014, the committee suggested that it is considering revising down the daily average recommended sugar intake from the current 10% of daily energy intake to 5%, which is equivalent to about six teaspoons of sugar (96 calories).

Key points in this POSTnote include:

  • All age groups consume more sugar than the Government’s recommended daily limit (10% of daily energy intake).
  • There is concern about the negative impact of this level of consumption on public health, notably tooth decay, obesity and type 2 diabetes.

  • Government policy to improve diet and health includes voluntary industry pledges to reduce calories in products (including lowering sugar content), provide better labelling, supported by education campaigns to help people to make healthier choices.

  • The food industry is supportive of, and engaged with the Responsibility Deal. However this policy has been criticised as ineffective, with calls for regulation instead.

Documents to download

Related posts

  • Palliative and end of life care

    Palliative and end of life care are increasingly in demand as people are living longer and with multiple long-term conditions. However, an estimated 100,000 people in the UK that could benefit from palliative care die without receiving it each year. There is substantial evidence that inequalities in access to palliative and end of life care relate to various sociodemographic factors. Experts have highlighted that access to palliative and end of life care may improve quality of life for patient and family and reduce symptom burden. This POSTnote summarises the key components of palliative and end of life care and recent changes in UK policy. It identifies inequalities and challenges to accessible provision. It also reviews evidence on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the provision of care and outlines key trends.

    Palliative and end of life care
  • Prolonged Disorders of Consciousness

    Medical advances mean that increasing numbers of people survive physical injury, stroke, periods of low oxygenation and severe brain infections. Some, however, are left with substantially reduced consciousness. This paper discusses the medical, ethical and commissioning challenges associated with the care of patients in vegetative and minimally conscious states, and explains the impact of recent legal judgments.

    Prolonged Disorders of Consciousness