Fattening foods should come in smaller portionsWatchdog says it would encourage healthier eating

28 March 2007

 

Smaller size packs of chocolate, crisps and other foods should be encouraged to help people eat more healthily, according to the official food watchdog.

The Food Standards Agency wants to work with the food industry to promote ‘portion size control’.

It says smaller portion sizes of crisps, soft drinks and other foods are often only available in supermarket ‘multi-packs’.

And while it welcomes confectionery firms' move towards chocolate portions under 100 calories, it has concerns about large 'sharing' bars.

Draft plan

The pack-size proposal is included in a consultation on a plan to improve awareness of healthy eating and the dangers of eating too much saturated fat.

It wants to encourage consumers to pick 'reduced fat' and other healthy options when buying food.

It also proposes that manufacturers should reformulate ‘mainstream’ food products to reduce their saturated fat and energy content.

A list of products which could be reformulated to make them healthier includes cakes, biscuits, butter, chocolate, cheese, pizza, crisps, potato products, soft drinks and breakfast cereals.

Saturated fat

The UK's average saturated fat intake is currently 17 per cent too high and obesity rates have tripled over the past 20 years.

Eating too much saturated fat raises the level of blood cholesterol, which is a risk factor in heart disease.

But cutting the nation's saturated fat consumption to recommended levels would help prevent some 3,500 deaths per year, the FSA said.