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New report published on reformulation of food and drink


A new report from the Institute of Economic Affairs argues that reformulation in the food and drink industry represents the largest extension of state control over the British diet since rationing.

We have stressed that reformulation not only works to improve the health of the nation, but is also what the public wants. 

Our Assistant Director of Policy and Campaigns, Helen Dickens, said this about the new report:

“We are in the midst of an obesity crisis. 64% of British adults are overweight or obese, as are 34% of children at the end of primary school. This puts them at increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, and of the serious, life-altering complications that can come from living with the condition. That’s why it’s so important that the government and industry take steps to help create an environment where making healthier choices is as easy as possible. Tackling this crisis is complex, but it won’t be possible at all if those with the greatest ability to enact change don’t play their part – which is why reformulation, led by industry and monitored by government, is so vital. 
“What’s more, we know that this is what the public want. Three quarters of people say they want food manufacturers to reduce the salt, saturated fat and sugar in their products to make it easier to make healthier choices, and it’s estimated that at many as 26,000 deaths could be avoided through reformulating food to reduce sugar and salt and reducing portion size.
“With more than 12million people at increased risk of Type 2 diabetes, it’s never been more important for industry to act on their responsibility to make the products their customers want more healthy.

“We know that sugar-based products do, however, play an important part in the management of diabetes – as a treatment for hypos – and we would always stress that reformulation should be clearly signposted so those who rely on these products to control their diabetes are fully aware.”

Reformulation means changing the changing the recipe of food and drink to reduce things like sugar, salt and calories. We've produced some useful information about sugar reduction and treating hypos.

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