July 29, 2009

UK Food Agency Calls For Smaller Candy Bars

In the UK, the Food Standards Agency is urging chocolate bar producers to make their products 1/5 smaller.

The group is hoping that all chocolate-based bars being sold will weigh 50g or less, while solid chocolate bars should weigh no more than 40g. Mars bars weigh 58g.

Additionally, the FSA has called on confectionery makers to sell bite-sized versions of the chocolate bars individually, rather than in large varieties.

The UK-based FSA has continued to urge various members of the food industry to reach certain goals involving the reduction of saturated fat and added sugar in food products.

"We recognize the excellent work already achieved by some food businesses to make healthier eating easier. But to make even greater progress it's important that everybody gets behind our recommendations on saturated fat, added sugar and portion sizes," said Gill Fine, Director of Consumer Choice and Dietary Health at the FSA.

"The food industry regularly reviews its ingredients and processes, as well as portion sizes, and the aim of this proposal is to encourage them to consider how they can play their part in improving public health and helping consumers to maintain a healthy weight."

The FSA has also proposed that soda drinks should be sold in 250 ml bottles rather than 330 ml ones while reducing the levels of added sugar by 4 percent.

"What we are not doing is telling people what to eat! What we want to do is to make it easier for people to make healthier choices "“ to choose foods with reduced saturated fat and sugar "“ or smaller portion sizes," Fine said in a statement.

"There are very significant technical, financial and consumer challenges that companies have to overcome with every new recipe development, and policy makers need to be realistic about the pace at which our members can be expected to keep delivering new innovations - particularly in the current recession," said Julian Hunt, director of communications for the Food and Drink Federation.

"We are pleased that the FSA has recognized the considerable work undertaken by our members."

"But we are disappointed that it appears to remain committed to setting arbitrary targets for specific nutrients in certain foods, rather than focusing on the need for everyone to achieve a balanced diet and lifestyle."


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