East Anglia: 50% of people not aware of hidden fats in foods

MORE than half the people in the East of England are unaware of the dangerous level of sugar and fat in everyday junk foods, it has been revealed.

A survey showed 55% of people in the region are not aware a large takeaway pepperoni pizza has two times the recommended maximum daily intake of saturated fat.

It also showed 50% of those quizzed do not know there are 11 lumps of sugar in a can of cola.

The news comes as a new Change4Life advertising campaign is launched today by the Government to warn of “hidden nasties” in foods and promote healthier eating.

Food manufacturers and supermarkets have teamed up for the first ever health focussed ad takeover which will air tonight on ITV.

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Public Health Minister Anna Soubry said: “Making healthier, balanced meals on a budget can be a challenge for families.

“This new Change4Life campaign offers families free healthy recipes and money off those much needed cupboard essentials to encourage everyone to try healthy alternatives.

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“Thanks to the continuing success of Change4Life, a million mums have changed their behaviour. But England has one of the highest rates of obesity in Europe with over 60% of adults and a third of 10 and 11-year-olds overweight or obese.

“We want to make it easy for everyone to keep track of what they eat and make healthier choices.

“That is why we are also developing a simple and clear system for front of pack labelling that everyone can use.”

Last week Andy Burnham, the shadow health secretary called for a law limiting the amount of sugar, salt and fat in foods to be considered.

Labour says voluntary agreements within the food industry are not working and that politicians should look at banning children’s foods that have a high sugar content, the Daily Telegraph said.

Mr Burnham highlighted the case of breakfast cereals, saying that many aimed at children are more than one-third sugar by weight.

Obesity costs the NHS �5billion each year with 40,000 people dying of conditions attributable to being overweight or obese.

The latest figures show that the number of children who are overweight or obese doubles during primary school.

The Change4Life adverts, which are made by Aardman - the creators of Wallace and Gromit - will feature ads from Asda, Quorn, Uncle Ben’s, the Co-Operative Food and Cravendale and will offer ideas for healthy recipes and money-off vouchers.

Everyone who signs up to the campaign will get a free Food Smart Meal Mixer with tips for affordable, healthy meals.

Department of Health director of marketing Sheila Mitchell said: “We have worked closely with partner organisations including ASDA fresh fish and Uncle Ben’s rice to highlight how easy it is to eat well on a budget.”

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