Blog: Food and health dominates media spotlight
Dean Best | 5 March 2014
UK government may need to introduce sugar tax, country's chief medical officer said
A renewed call for a tax on sugar, claims of a link between between animal protein and bad health and fresh guidance from the WHO on sugar intake - what we eat has again grabbed mainstream media attention in the last 24 hours.
The UK's chief medical officer has said the country's government should introduce a tax on sugar as a way of helping to tackle obesity.
A study of over 6,000 people in the US has claimed to show a link between high consumption of meat, eggs, milk and cheese with cancer or diabetes.
And, in Switzerland, the World Health Organization has suggested people should halve their daily intake of sugar.
The hat-trick of headlines continues what has been a flurry of news stories in mainstream media outlets since the turn of the year that have focused on what we eat and the impact on our health.
Sugar has been in the spotlight in recent weeks. In January, academics in the UK, US and Canada launched Action on Sugar to try to pressure the industry to reduce the level of sugar in food.
UK TV channels have broadcast documentaries entitled 'Are You Addicted To Sugar?' and 'Sugar vs Fat' to look at the impact consumption can have on health.
January also saw a number of front pages in the UK carry headlines on the country's "obesity crisis" after a report from The National Obesity Forum has claimed previous forecasts that half the UK's population could be obese by 2050 may have underestimated the problem.
The flurry of headlines will raise consumer interest in what is in their food and in their diets more generally. There are, no doubt, some in the food industry that would welcome that.
However, others will be concerned that their sectors could be painted as the betes noires of the piece.
Above all, it raises the prospect of a PR battle for the food industry in the face of heightened scrutiny on what is in our food and the impact it can have on health.
Consumer interest can easily lead to consumer confusion - and that could lead to the wrong choices being made.
A balanced debate is vital, with a balanced diet at the heart of it.
There has been an increase in M&A among companies in the food sector in recent months - and management consultants at EY expect to the trend to continue....
Nelson Peltz is not letting go. The US billionaire investor is continuing in his quest to get PepsiCo to split in two - and has reportedly suggested a proxy battle with the company could be on the hor...
just-food has launched a section on its website dedicated to interviewing internationally-ambitious small- and medium-sized enterprises. ...
The boom in demand for dairy products in emerging markets has been underlined by the latest data on the largest companies in the industry....
- On the move: What's in store from Tesco's new CEO?
- On the money: Can Premier build H2 sales momentum?
- Focus: Lindt plays safe with Russell Stover buy
- Interview: Bell hits out at German cartel ruling
- On the money: Steady as she goes at Cloetta
- UPDATE: Premier establishes international unit
- Campbell issues warning on 2014/15 fiscal year
- S&A Foods announces restructure, 55 jobs to go
- Universal Robina to buy biscuit firm Griffin's
- Premier launches Oxo pots range in UK