IGD report sets record straight on sugar

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A new report to help food businesses improve information and messages to consumers about sugars is being published by IGD, the international food and grocery experts.

The report, Sugars: Improving information and messages to consumers, has identified key themes to help increase knowledge about sugars and how they fit into a healthy balanced diet.

Sugars are an important source of energy, they also make food more pleasant to taste and act as a preservative. But there is a great deal of confusion about the nutritional value of different types of sugar.

IGD research, for example, found consumers regard brown sugar and honey as ‘better for you’ than white sugar – which they are not. Consumers also wrongly believe that sugars occurring naturally in foods, such as orange juice, are different to refined sugars, including those in soft drinks.

Messages recommended in the report to reduce misunderstanding about sugars include:

  • Sugars can form a useful part of a healthy balanced diet
  • All sugars have the same calories (energy)
  • Sugar-containing foods can provide other important nutrients
  • There are no nutritional differences between brown and white sugar

Joanne Denney-Finch, IGD chief executive, said: “Sugars play an important role in what we eat, but there is much consumer confusion about their place in a healthy balanced diet. And it is important to help people understand the different sources of sugars in their diet, so they get the balance right.

“IGD analysis has highlighted the main areas of public uncertainty. Building on IGD research, key messages have been identified to help consumers improve their knowledge of sugars and dispel misconceptions.

“By adopting the recommendations in the sugars report, food businesses can give consumers the information they need to make healthier choices.”

The Sugars: Improving information and messages to consumers report can be downloaded from: www.igd.com/sugars