Last updated on 26 March 2010

Reducing saturated fat and sugar in sweet foods

cookie choc chip

Following a public consultation in the summer of 2009, the Food Standards Agency has today recommended that food manufacturers reduce saturated fat in foods such as biscuits, cakes, buns, chocolates and added sugar in soft drinks.

The Agency also wants to see more smaller single-portion sizes available in some of these foods, which contribute much of the saturated fat and calories in our diet.

The Agency is encouraging industry to:

  • reduce saturated fat in biscuits, cakes, buns and chocolate confectionery
  • reduce added sugar in soft drinks
  • make smaller single portion sizes more easily available for chocolate confectionery and soft drinks

Currently, in the UK we eat too much saturated fat which is a significant risk factor in coronary heart disease.

Today’s recommendations include:

  • reducing the saturated fat level in some chocolate confectionery (bars with fillings) by at least 10%
  • where soft drinks contain added sugar, making single portion sizes of 250ml available
  • reducing the saturated fat content in plain sweet and savoury biscuits, and plain cakes by at least 10%; and 5% in non-plain biscuits and cakes

Further recommendations will follow in the summer on dairy and meat products, pastry and savoury snacks.

The recommendations recognise and welcome the progress that many food companies have already made and challenge the whole food industry to move toward healthier products.

The Agency also campaigns to raise awareness of the risks to our heart health from eating too much saturated fat and has advice on easy ways to cut down (see eatwell link below).