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Changing public health priorities in sugar consumption

After a change in terminology, Sara Patience reviews the advice to date and how it relates to nurses

In 2014 the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) published its draft report on Carbohydrates and Health for consultation by interested parties. In light of a request from the Department of Health to provide recommendations on sugar in the diet and SACN’s draft carbohydrate report, Public Health England (PHE) published Sugar Reduction: Responding to the Challenge.1

In 2015 SACN published its final report, subsequently accepted by the government, and PHE published Sugar Reduction: the Evidence for Action.

SACN suggested a change in terminology used to define sugars and a lowering of the dietary reference values (DRVs) for sugar consumption in the general population. PHE described how these could be achieved.There were discussions around how marketing and advertising promoted consumption of high-sugar products, removing confectionary from checkouts and introducing a ‘sugar tax’.2

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