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Trending: Confectionery groups feel the heat from anti-sugar lobby

Sweet makers urged to cut sugar levels, Brexit, Brexit everywhere and Hayward has another day to forget
picture of chocolate
20% less sugar?

After soft drinks, the cross hairs are now turning towards confectionery makers in an attempt to get Britain’s children healthier.

Public Health England has recommended that cereals, chocolate bars and biscuits have 5% less sugar by the end of this year and see a 20% reduction by 2020.

It’s a big number and can be achieved by less sugar, smaller sizes and introducing healthier products said the lobby group.

Dr Alison Tedstone, the group's chief nutritionist, said children from poorer backgrounds were teh worst affected by obesity.

"Tackling the amount of sugar we eat is not just a healthy thing to do, but an issue of inequality for many families.

"If businesses achieve these guidelines, 200,000 tonnes of sugar could be removed from the UK market per year by 2020."

Makers of sugar alternative leapt on the news.

Microbiome specialist OptiBiotix’s (LON:OPTI) Stephen OHara said the news reflected a public health need to reduce sugar intakes, particularly in children.  

OptiBiotix is developing sweet natural healthy fibres called SweetBiotix which are not digested in the human gut, and hence calorie free.  

He added it current progress continues it could be in a position to launch its first generation SweetBiotix product later this year, or at the start of 2018.

 

Hard to get away from Brexit today where the fall-out from the signing of Article 50 yesterday is getting thicker.

Insurance centre Lloyds of London has said it will open an office in Brussels following the UK’s decision.

The City of London stalwart confirmed the plan in its annual results.

"A subsidiary office will be opened in Brussels with the intention that it will be operational for the January 1 renewal season in 2019."

 

 

Genel Energy, where one-time BP boss Tony Hayward now resides (for a months more anyway) as chairman, is always popular on social media, a point underlined by its disappointing results today.

It’s the second bit of bad news this week, following the huge write-down in its reserves in Iraq on Tuesday.

Operating losses in 2016 were US$1.22bn (US$1.1bn) after another massive impairment charge.

Hayward, who was castigated for his performance during BP’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill crisis, is due to step down in June and a successor is still to be found.

 

Finally, with some charities urging a return of deposits on bottles and cans, comes a report that charging for disposable coffee cups would reduce their use in the UK by 300mln a year.

Cardiff University produced the report and author Wouter Poortinga said some 2.5bn disposable cups are used annually, but and a chargecould cut this by 17%.

A discount on reusable cups though would make no difference he said.

““People are far more sensitive to losses than to gains when making decisions - so if we really want to change a customer's behaviour then a charge on a disposable cup is more likely to be effective,” Poortinga added.


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