Restaurants, pubs and cafes have reduced the amount of sugar in the meals they serve by 4.9%, according to a new figures.
Public Health England (PHE) has published its second-year report on progress made by the food industry to voluntarily reduce sugar in everyday foods since 2015.
The report, which shows the sugar reduction achieved in foods contributing the most sugar to children’s diets, such as cakes, breakfast cereals and sweets, reveals that retailers and manufacturers achieved a 2.9% reduction in the same period.
Although the figures are positive, they are still way off the 20% reduction target set by PHE by 2020.
The report also looks at progress made under the Soft Drinks Industry Levy (SDIL), which reveals a 28.8% sugar reduction per 100ml in retailer own brand and manufacturer branded products and a 27.2% reduction per 100ml for drinks consumed out of home. There has been a consumer shift towards zero or lower sugar products, with sugar purchased from soft drinks decreasing in all socio-economic groups.
Overall, 30,133 tonnes of sugar were removed without reducing soft drink sales, resulting in around 37.5 billion fewer kilocalories sold in sugary drinks each year.
Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Public Health England, said: “We are seeing some encouraging progress from the food industry. Our second year report shows some food categories reducing sugar faster than others but this is realistic at this early stage.
“We are confident that the industry as a whole understands their responsibility to step up and deliver for children and their families.”