Welcome to The Sugar Reduction Summit 2017 – which takes place at The Royal Society on Thursday 9th November.

Sugar Reduction Awards -a few days left to enter!

This year, we are delighted to announce the launch of The Sugar Reduction Awards, which will take place alongside The Sugar Reduction Summit this year.  The Awards will recognise the innovation and excellence taking place in sugar reduction across all sectors and will bring together a showcase of best practice in sugar reduction, which will be displayed at The Sugar Reduction Summit.  Entries are now open, click here for categories and further information.  The Awards will be judged by a prestigious panel of industry and public health experts –see here for the full list of judges.

Why is sugar reduction so important?

With almost two thirds of adults in the UK now classified as overweight or obese, 0obesity is one of the most serious public health challenges of our time and that, continued unchecked, it will bankrupt public health services. Sugar’s role in obesity continues to take centre-stage in the media, with headline grabbing stories not only on its link to obesity but correlations to cancers, cardio-vascular disease, heart disease and diabetes. Scientists and public health professionals have decried the high levels of hidden sugar found in everyday foods, and drawn parallels between the tobacco and food industries – invoking the rising tide of obesity and questioning whether sugar taxation and additional regulation is an inevitable necessity.

We are entering a period of unprecedented change, and calls for change, to the food and drink regulatory environment which, managed appropriately, provide an opportunity to cumulatively impact on consumption of sugar and, in turn on obesity; –   The introduction of a sugar tax on sugar sweetened beverages and clear warnings from Government that they will consider adding additional categories, the publication of the Childhood Obesity Plan with its focus very much on sugar reduction, potential changes to advertising and marketing guidelines which will finally see regulatory controls of the wider digital media space to which children in particular are so exposed, calls for health warnings on packaging of high sugar drinks and for the volume of sugar to be immediately visible on packaging and a clear call from the Retail industry that a degree of legislation is essential in creating a level playing field.

These changes and initiatives offer much needed opportunities to ultimately reduce the amount of sugar consumed but they are still not enough.  Two years on from the WHO and SACN recommendations – and the media noise that followed – to halve the amount of free sugars in our diet, we are still not meeting the previous 10% target let alone the new 5% and research suggests a fundamental overhaul of our dietary habits would be required to do so.

The fourth annual Sugar Reduction Summit will once again bring together a unique mix of public health, policymakers, industry, academia and the health and wellness communities to to debate the viability and efficacy of newly proposed regulations including sugar tax, advertising and EU level changes to labelling, to explore the effectiveness and impact of voluntary measures and to look at the latest research on the role of sweeteners in sugar reduction.

2017 topics will include:

  • Is PHE’s sugar reduction programme on target?
  • What impact is PHE’s programme having on sugar in consumer shopping baskets?
  • What impact will lifting of EU sugar quotas have on manufacturing and consumption – and what does this mean for iso-glucose production?
  • Is sugar reduction resulting in calorie reduction?
  • How can agricultural and health policies be better aligned?
  • What role for industry in nutrition research and collaboration for health?
  • What is the latest science and evidence on sweeteners – the gut microbiome and sweetness?
  • What are the opportunities and obstacles in sugar reduction
  • Do sweeteners have an image problem?
  • Are “clean labels” influencing the sugar reduction agenda?
  • What are the new innovations in sugar replacers, sugar reduction tech and sweeteners?
  • The practicalities of sugar reduction and what’s achievable – and what this means for PHE’s targets
  • Best practice guidance and case studies on sugar reduction initiatives
  • Marketing strategies for sugar reduction – what works when?
  • What would help manufacturer’s achieve more?