Diabetes UK has today responded to a high-profile report by the Scientific Advisory Committee report on the role of carbohydrates in the diet.
The draft report, which will now go to public consultation, includes the recommendation that added sugars should make up no more than 5% of our diets and that people should consume more fibre.
Barbara Young, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK, said: “This report highlights the worrying role sugar is playing in fuelling the high obesity rate that has, in turn, led to the sharp rise we are now seeing in Type 2 diabetes. “We welcome the fact that this report highlights how having too many high-sugar foods and drinks is clearly bad for you. But while we need to raise awareness about the negative effect a high-sugar diet can have on your health, we must not lose sight of the damage that high-fat foods can cause.
"This is why people who want to maintain a healthy weight and so reduce their risk of Type 2 diabetes and other health conditions should concentrate on the number of calories they are consuming, including by watching their portion size, rather than focusing on restricting one particular type of food.“But while awareness of what constitutes a healthy diet is important, we will never genuinely tackle the obesity crisis until healthier foods are cheaper and more accessible.“It is clear that the voluntary approach to making this happen has not worked. It is now time for the Government to seriously consider legislation to drive reformulation, introduce restrictions on the marketing and distribution of unhealthy food, and encourage healthy lifestyle through taxation. It is only by the Government taking this kind of strong approach that we are likely to see a turning back of the rising tide of obesity and Type 2 diabetes.”