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U.K. Unveils Details Of Plan To Deal With Childhood Obesity

The British government has crafted a plan to fight childhood obesity that asks food and beverage manufacturers to voluntarily trim sugar levels by 20 percent within five years, and five percent in the first year. “Other levers” will be applied if the voluntary targets are not met. The plan includes a two-level sugar tax that treats sugar content of five grams per 100 milliliters differently from sugar content of eight grams per 100 milliliters. The plan does not include a ban on advertising sugary drinks. Lastly, the plan stresses exercise in school, calling for primary school children to get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity a day.

"Sugar Tax Included In Strategy To Tackle Childhood Obesity", Retail Week, August 18, 2016

Toothpastes Come With Toxic Chemicals, Report Says

Toothpastes and mouthwashes sold in the US contain potentially toxic chemical ingredients that pose serious health risks to consumers, according to the Cornucopia Institute. Data from the organization's report, "Behind the Dazzling Smile: Toxic Ingredients in Your Toothpaste?," revealed so-called "natural" toothpaste are not necessarily free of these toxic chemicals. Some leading "natural" brands are manufactured by mass-marketed brands, such as Tom's of Maine, which is owned by Colgate-Palmolive. Toothpastes sold in European markets have safer formulations, compared with their US counterparts. According to the Cornucopia Institute, the American Dental Association is "heavily subsidized" by the personal and beauty care industry,... More

"Behind the Dazzling Smile: Toxic Ingredients in Your Toothpaste", The Cornucopia Institute, August 16, 2016

Well-Intentioned Government-Funded School Meals Programs Are Making Kids Fat

Low-income students in the Northeast, South, and rural U.S. who participate in federally-subsidized school breakfast and lunch programs are at the greatest risk of becoming overweight, a study has found. The researchers noted that the meal programs are well-intentioned, but are actually contributing to the obesity epidemic among schoolchildren. According to the study, nutrition standards of the subsidized meals programs need to be raised, but in a way that makes the food acceptable and appetizing to children. The study was based on data collected from 21,260 students whose dietary habits were monitored from kindergarten to eighth grade.

"The Influence of School Nutrition Programs on the Weight of Low-Income Children: A Treatment Effect Analysis", Health Economics, August 11, 2016

Trend Toward Sugar Substitutes Takes Hold In N.Z.’s Soft Drink Industry

Last year, two of New Zealand’s big soft drink manufacturers began offering their flagship colas with the sweetener stevia substituting for sugar. Coca-Cola Amatil (NZ) launched Coca-Cola Life; Frucor Beverages followed with Pepsi Next. Both brands contain fewer calories and could have a major impact on cola carbonates generally, and strong growth expected in low-calorie cola carbonates. Euromonitor expects that low-calorie colas will account for almost 50 percent of total cola sales within four years. Energy drinks, sports drinks, and fruit juices are also expected join the no-sugar bandwagon. With that in mind, Euromonitor sees increased efforts to find other sugar substitutes besides stevia.

"Commitment from New Zealand Manufacturers to Reduce Sugar Content in Soft Drinks", Blog post, Euromonitor International, August 07, 2016

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