Unhealthy drinks

“Sugar-sweetened drinks should generally be drunk only in small amounts because they contain many calories and can contribute to the emergence of obesity,” writes the German Society for Nutrition (DGE) on its website. In addition, the frequent consumption of sodas and coke can lead to health problems such as tooth decay, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Therefore, it is generally to be welcomed when the policy is that less sugar is consumed by soft drinks. But what the Federal Food Ministry plans is far too little for health experts.

Lower the frequency of obesity

“We want to reduce the incidence of obesity and obesity and the associated diseases in Germany,” said Federal Nutrition Minister Julia Klöckner recently in a statement.

“A building block to achieve this goal is our reduction and innovation strategy,” said the politician.

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But what the Ministry is planning, according to health experts is far from sufficient.

Having the sugar content can be implemented

Barbara Bitzer, the spokeswoman for the German Alliance for Noncommunicable Diseases (DANK), said on the recently released draft of the Federal Food Ministry for a National Reduction and Innovation Strategy for Sugar, Fats, and Salt in Finished Products, according to a report published by the Information Service Science (idw):

“The reduction strategy is just weakening in the key topics of soft drinks and children’s marketing. For soft drinks, it is not enough if Federal Minister of Food Julia Klöckner calls for a ‘significant double-digit sugar reduction’ – including industry can also understand a relatively small reduction of 15 or 20 percent.

According to Bitzer, “for conventionally sweet coke and lemonade, a sugar reduction by 50 percent” is necessary. “The example of Great Britain proves that this can be implemented quickly,” says the expert.

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Also, the German Diabetes Association (DDG), which is a member of the DANK, calls for 50 percent sugar reduction in soft drinks.

“In view of the fact that soft drinks, as additional calorie carriers, have a major influence on the development of obesity, we urge Ms. Klöckner to reach this target in concrete agreements with industry,” said DDG President Professor Dr. med. med. Dirk Müller-Wieland in a message published by IDW.

Special children’s foods are unnecessary

The DANK also criticizes the goal that children-look products should have “no less favorable nutrient composition than those that do not specifically target children”:

“It’s no progress when children’s products are just as unhealthy as regular products,” said Bitzer. “Of all people, a particularly vulnerable group is not protected here, presumably so as not to restrict industry’s sales interests.”

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Müller-Wieland from the DDG says: “Special children’s food is actually completely unnecessary. If anything, they should have a particularly favorable nutrient composition. ”

The German Noncommunicable Diseases Alliance calls for a ban on marketing aimed at children and adolescents if the product can not be considered healthy by the standards of the World Health Organization (WHO).

The experts welcome the Minister’s announcement to closely monitor the implementation of the reduction and to examine regulatory measures in the event of a “lack of cooperation”.

“We are very hopeful that the industry is now taking advantage of this last chance,” says Bitzer: “The medical societies affiliated with DANK will follow the process closely and take Ms. Klöckner’s word for it.”