Saturated fat to be reduced across products in the UK

Several UK manufacturers have signed a ‘responsibility pledge’ which will see them cut the amount of saturated fat their products contain. Almost half of the food manufacturing and retail industry have signed up. 

Saturated fat has been thought to be a leading cause of CHD and diabetes since the 1970’s and so decreasing its content in food products could have a significant effect. The Department of Health has stating that cutting the amount of saturated fat in people's diets by 15% could prevent around 2,600 premature deaths every year from conditions such as heart disease and stroke.

This initative is being driven by an EU platform for action on Diet, Physical Activity and Health (PDF 2MB). One of the areas they are focussing on is the composition of foods and they ahve already led a successful initiative to reduce salt levels in food products. Future work will involve the sugar content of food products.

A recent Irish study run by Professor Ivan Perry in University College Cork looked at estimating the potential reduction in CHD and stroke deaths achievable by specific and achievable decreases in consumption of salt, trans fat and saturated fat intake and increases in consumption of fruit and vegetables in the Irish Population. It reported that:

  • 395 deaths could be prevented each year on the conservative scenario of reducing salt intake by 1gm per day, reducing trans fat by 0.5% of energy intake and saturated fat by 1% of energy intake, as well as consuming one additional portion of fruit or vegetables a day.
  • 1070 deaths from CHD and stroke (or one in four of current such deaths) could be prevented each year on the substantial, but politically feasible scenario of reducing salt intake by 3gm per day, reducing trans fat by 1% of energy intake and saturated fat by 3% of energy intake, as well as three additional portions of fruit and vegetables a day.


Visit the safefood website for more information on:


Posted: 08/11/2013 14:43:48 by Laura Keaver


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