The calorie reduction programme

This week, Public Health England (PHE) published plans to cut excessive calorie intakes by challenging the food industry to reduce calories by 20% in categories that contribute significantly to children’s calorie intakes by 2024. The programme involves retailers, manufacturers and the out-of-home sector following on from work launched last year to reduce sugars.

Products covered include:

It does not cover foods included in the sugar reduction programme.

Reducing calories in these everyday foods will have the ability to benefit the whole population and it has been estimated that a 20% reduction in calories over five years could prevent 35,000 premature deaths, save the NHS £4.5 billion in healthcare costs over 25 years.

PHE will set specific product category guidance to be published mid-2019 (using sales weighted average approach to focus on top selling products), however businesses are encouraged to start work now to reduce calorie content of everyday foods.  The year ending August 2017 will be the baseline against which progress will be measured (first progress report March 2021).

Reformulation or reducing portion sizes will be the main focus for the food industry however shifting consumer purchasing towards lower calories options is an additional mechanism for action.

Alongside this work, PHE are launching the ‘Know your numbers’ campaign which provides a rule of thumb for the calories to eat at each main meal to help consumers be more aware of the calories they consume when eating out.

AB Food Nutrition works with manufacturers and caterers to provide nutrient composition values of their products for labelling & menu boards and also during product development or reformulation. We can work with you to assess the impact recipe changes will have on nutritional content as well as advising on ways to achieve a desired nutritional profile such as reducing calories, whilst advising on which permitted nutrition or health claims you can use in product marketing.  Contact Anne for further information about our nutrition and labelling services.

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