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If only it was "just" a spoonful of sugar?

7 December 2017 Jim Harrison,

After all that debate about obesity, we seem to now know that the real problem all along was sugar.

It makes sense really, we always ate fat and salt – admittedly probably not as much as we eat now – but sugar is relatively new and highly addictive.

To borrow a phrase, we can’t keep on treating our bodies like landfill sites and expect a healthy decline to certain death and we need (to borrow another phrase) to do everything in moderation, including moderation.

And we have to cut out sugar.

So, here’s an idea HM Government.

Why not compel people who sell packaged goods with sugar in to put a white stripe on the bottom of the pack so people can see how much proportionately is in there?

A bit like fag packets, maybe not so gruesome but designed to guide buying decisions.

Here’s a little mock-up of what it might look like – you get the idea – it’s a little nudge that converts all the numbers into a simple influence on people’s choice.

I don’t have the stats but it must still be the case that food labelling hasn’t worked. It’s just too dense and the comparatives are incredibly difficult to follow. Try Googling “what % of a can of brand xxxxx is sugar?” and you get answers in grams and ounces and spoonful’s and lots of confusion.

Whilst you can see it’s a lot of sugar (41 gms per Pepsi for example) it’s hard to say what’s in a can of brand yyyy or brand zzzzz and very hard to choose between them.

It’s interesting to look at the very lengthy explanations that people trying to help – DiabetesUk for example have to put on their websites. Nobody but nobody (apart from the copywriters and lawyers) ever reads that stuff.

But as we always say, Brevity is Heavenly. In a fast-moving impatient world, people don’t have time to read charts about RDA’s or understand Kcals. To really make a difference there has to be a compression of expression.

A white stripe makes it easy.

If you agree and if please share this and let’s see if we can change things.

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