Press releases

17 January 2019

BSDA responds to Welsh Assembly obesity strategy proposals

In response to the Welsh Assembly announcing a consultation on its obesity strategy, Gavin Partington, Director General at British Soft Drinks Association, said:

“We will reserve judgement on proposals considering restrictions on portion sizes until further information comes to light. However, the soft drinks industry recognises it has a role to play in helping to tackle obesity, which is why we have led the way in calorie and sugar reduction.

“Our efforts are reflected in the Government’s own NDNS data—published last year—which shows that sugar intake from soft drinks is down 15% in 4-10-year-olds and 11% in 11-18-year-olds since 2012.

“We are the only category to have already hit Public Health England’s calorie-reduction target of 20% by 2020, and we hope our actions on sugar reduction, portion size and promotion of low- and no-calorie products set an example for the wider food sector.

“While the BSDA supports a ban on the sale of energy drinks to under-16s, the European Food Safety Authority confirms the safety of energy drinks and their ingredients, and therefore does not provide any scientific justification to treat energy drinks any differently to the main contributors to daily caffeine intake including tea, coffee and chocolate. It is worth remembering that coffees from popular high-street chains—­on which the Welsh government is not looking at implementing a ban—contain the same or more caffeine than most energy drinks.”