Governments can steer consumers towards healthier choices by supporting the reformulation of food ingredients, rather than imposing “discriminatory” taxes, according to the soft drinks industry.
The number of overweight and obese people in Europe has been growing at an alarming rate in recent years. According to Eurostat, 51.6% of the EU’s population (18 and over) was overweight in 2014.
And policymakers widely see high sugar consumption as one of the main culprits.
“The harmful effects of sugar on health are well-known, ranging from type 2 diabetes and tooth decay to heart disease,” says EU consumer organisation BEUC, referring to a World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendation on non-communicable diseases.
The European Commission took note and launched several initiatives to tackle the issue. One of them is the EU strategy on nutrition, overweight and obesity, which aims to promote coordinated action with member states.