Sugars, when part of a healthy and balanced diet is essential to human wellbeing. Nevertheless, sugar consumption, due to its contribution to obesity (amongst other non-communicable diseases) has become a rising concern within the scientific community and for National Public Health authorities in the EU. In 2014, 51.6% (18 years old and older) of the EU population was overweight. Providing calories with little nutritional value, free sugars are linked to weight gain. Furthermore, sugars can cause tooth decay or type 2 diabetes.
In 2015, the World Health Organisation (WHO) published its new guidelines on sugar intake for adults and children and recommends reducing the intake of free sugars to less than 10% of total energy intakes, while a reduction to below 5% would provide additional health benefits.
A growing trend of sugar-conscious consumers can be noticed:
- 53% of European consumers would be likely to consider switching from their current brand if a product bears a sugar reduced claim;
- 70% of European consumers believe the front of pack claims influences their purchase behavior;
- 47% of the 18-34 age group changed their habits towards a healthier diet and this trend is expected to go up in the coming years.
Keeping in mind the above tendencies, SAFE – Safe Food Advocacy Europe has developed the SugarControl trademark to offer the possibility for consumers to make an informed choice when purchasing food products and to help them make healthier choices for their daily diet. The SugarControl trademark is also an opportunity for Food Business Industries to put forward their efforts of reducing the quantity of sugar in their products.