Almost 400 companies in the food sector have committed to reduce the added sugar, the Saturated fats Y the salt of their products, according to the agreement they signed this morning with the Ministry of Health, Consumption and Social Welfare. On average, the reduction of the three ingredients will be 10%, although with many differences.
The objective is to improve the health of consumers and, above all, obesity rates and overweight. Spain has one of the highest obesity rates in Europe. 54% of adults are overweight and 17% are obese. Among children, 40% are overweight and 18% suffer from obesity, according to Health data.
The sectors that have joined this agreement are savory snacks, soft drinks, pastries and pastries, children's breakfast cereals, creams, meat products, cookies, ice cream, fruit nectars, special packaged breads, prepared dishes, dairy products and sauces.
The objectives that have been set are:
Salt. This food is related to health problems such as hypertension, but also obesity, whose reduction is the ultimate goal of this strategy. In particular, it is proposed to lower it by almost 14% in French fries, 16% in meat preparations (sausages) and 5% in sauces such as tomato sauces, for example.
Added sugars It is proposed to reduce it by 5% in pastries, 10% in fruit nectars and soft drinks, among other measures. Sugar is related to obesity and diabetes, and its industrial use is broad in many products not only to sweeten them, but as a preservative (cooked ham, mayonnaise, etc.).
Saturated fats. Obviously related to overweight and cardiovascular problems. It is agreed to reduce them by 10% in salty snacks and prepared dishes, and 5% in cookies, pastries and meat products.
"Europe has one of the highest levels of food security in the world, but we have the new challenge of obesity," said the minister, Maria Luisa Carcedo, after the act of the signing. "Unhealthy diets cause more deaths and diseases around the world that the consumption of alcohol, tobacco and drugs, "he added.
The agreement is part of the Naos strategy (Nutrition, physical activity, obesity and sedentary lifestyle) that began the ministry of 2004, being its owner Elena Salgado (PSOE), and is based on the self-regulation of the sector to get healthier diets, but this time with greater specificity in the objectives ( the first time was only numerically established the reduction of salt in bread by 18%, about 4 grams per kilo in four years).
"We must highlight the efforts of the companies that assume this plan and put the consumer at the center of their activity, betting, from self-regulation, for a varied, wide and quality offer," said the president of FIAB, the Spanish Federation of Food and Beverage Industries (FIAB), Tomás Pascual Gómez-Cuétara.