Cut Saturated Fat Levels Says NICE

Tens of thousands of lives could be saved, and millions of people spared the suffering of living with the effects of heart disease and stroke, simply by producing healthier food says new National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidance today.

The guidance calls for the food industry to further reduce the salt and saturated fats in the food it produces, building on the good work already started.

Trans fats, which have been shown to increase the risk of heart disease and are classified as toxic by the World Health Organisation, should be eliminated from the food we eat, say the NICE recommendations.

In the UK, nearly three million women and three million men are living with the devastating and disabling effects of cardiovascular disease - which includes heart disease and stroke. Over 40,000 people die from premature cardiovascular disease each year. However, cardiovascular disease is a largely preventable condition and it can be effectively tackled by making simple changes to diet, smoking and physical activity.

This new guidance focuses mainly on food production and its influence on the nation's diet. This is the first time that all of the evidence has been brought together in one place on what works in improving food production, together with the figures showing how much health improves as a result. The NICE recommendations are aimed at making small changes across the whole population, because these will translate into very big improvements in health overall. This guidance sets out very clearly what the government and industry can do to make it easier for people to make healthy choices and thus improve the health of the whole nation.

Professor Mike Kelly, Public Health Director at NICE, said: "This guidance aims to save lives and reduce the terrible toll of ill health caused by heart disease and stroke. Making the simple changes recommended could prevent around 40,000 premature deaths in people aged under 75 each year. Taking action now will also save many millions of pounds every year. The guidance focuses on what government and industry can do to make it easier for people to make healthy choices, by producing food in a healthier way as standard. This isn't about telling individuals to choose salad instead of chips - it's about making sure that the chips we all enjoy occasionally are as healthy as possible. And the best way to do this is to encourage the companies who provide our food to build on the good work they've already done. That means making further reductions in the salt, trans fats and saturated fats in the food we eat everyday."


Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

28 March 2008
School's Out For Junk Food
The School Food Trust is to set in motion measures that will curb school children binging on junk food. Currently in some parts of England, pupils have a choice of more than 40 fast food shops, with many targeting children with special lunch menus.
25 October 2004
Tourists warned of risks of bringing food into the UK
The risks and controls prohibiting people bringing food into the UK from EU countries have been highlighted today as part of a public awareness campaign launched today. The current rules mean that it is illegal to bring meat and milk-based products for personal use back into the UK from outside the EU.
06 October 2008
New Council of Food Policy Advisors Announced
The establishment of a new team of advisers on food policy from 'the farm to the fork' has been announced today by Hilary Benn, Secretary of State for the Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs.
18 April 2008
Calls For Tougher Junk Food Advertising Laws
More than eighty percent of adults believe junk food advertising can make it difficult to feed children healthy food, a new survey has claimed. Consumer watchdog Which? Found 83% of consumers surveyed wanted the government to become more involved in controlling the marketing of unhealthy food to children. In total 2,000 people were questioned.
29 October 2003
New proposals set to curb fast-food littering
Fast-food outlets and customers will be encouraged to clean up their act under voluntary proposals published today by the government.