Food Manufacturers Fail To Go Healthy

Food Manufacturers Fail To Go Healthy

MD- despite many voluntary reformulation measures most top food and drink manufacturers have failed to make their products healthier for their customers. 

High-calorie diets with high sugar and salt content are responsible for many ailments like cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and early mortality rates. 

Food Manufacturers Fail To Go Healthy

In 2019 a research study had published results claiming that 18.2% of cardiovascular issues are related to poor diets. The study also found that poor food habits are related to nearly $50.4 billion spent by Americans annually on Type 2 diabetes treatment. 

Food Manufacturers Fail To Go Healthy

In order to solve the problem of poor diets, Public Health England has over the last few years developed a number of voluntary reformulation targets for food and drink manufacturers to reduce the sugar and salt content of their food. 

But despite these reformulations experts believe that most of the items sold by food and drink manufacturers are still highly unhealthy. One reason that researchers have posited is that there is not enough research about the nutritional reformations for specific food items. Experts suggest that policymakers need to study the impact of the reformulation targets on specific food manufacturers in order to create a system that will ensure truly healthy food is being marketed to customers. 

Recently some researchers at Oxford conducted some studies about the impact of the nutritional reformulation targets on the top 10 food and drink manufacturing industries of the UK. Dr. Lauren Bandy believes that it is possible to track the changes in the nutritional value of food over the course of time as it gradually complies with different calorie, salt, and sugar reformulation targets. 

But Dr. Bandy believes that the current reformulation strategies have not made any significant dent in the unhealthiness of most products of big food manufacturers. She wants stricter monitoring and better evaluation criteria to truly tackle the problem. 

The Oxford team used the Euromonitor International scale to identify the top ten food and drink brands. They then went on to analyze their sales data for the years between 2015 and 2018. Among these top ten were brands like Coca-Cola, Premier Foods, and many more. 

These ten companies produced almost 24% of the total 71.3 billion pounds earned from food and drink manufacturers’ sales in the UK in 2018. 

The researchers then collected the nutritional data for all the products sold by these companies with the help of a data analytics firm called Edge by Ascential. These values were then compared against a nutritional standards model provided by the Food Standards Agency. Each item was marked on its energy, sugar, saturated fat, fiber, protein, and other nutritional values. 

The researchers finally found that between 2015 and 2018 the percentage of products classified as healthy went up from 46% to 48%. But during this same time, the total number of products from these companies had decreased from 3471 to 3273. 

The sales of healthy products had also gone up from 44% in 2015 to almost 51% in 2018. But most of these sales were attributed to an increase in the sale of bottled water and juices. Another reason for this decline according to experts is the Soft Drinks Industry Levy that charges manufacturers for excess sugar. 

But the study conducted by the Oxford scientists did not include retail brands like Tesco, Asda, and others which also have their own in-house brands that control a large share of the food and drinks manufacturers’ market. 

There have been some improvements in terms of sales and manufactures of healthier products. But according to researchers in order to control the lifestyle diseases afflicting present populations, it is important to put stricter regulations on food manufacturers. Increased awareness about the importance of a healthy and balanced diet can also encourage manufacturers to change their strategy and create a healthier population. 

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