GERMANY, Berlin. Convenience products are trendy and have become part of a modern lifestyle. However, they often contain relatively high levels of sugar, fats and salt. The Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) would like to support consumers in eating healthy food and ensuring that processed foods become healthier.
The products should contain less energy, sugar, fats and salt, but still sufficient nutrients such as vitamins and minerals.
The National Reduction and Innovation Strategy for Sugar, Fats and Salt therefore has a clear focus on convenience products - especially those that are aimed at children and adolescents through the way they are presented.
So-called noncommunicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes mellitus type 2 are occurring with increasing frequency not only worldwide but also in Germany. This affects not only the quality of life of those affected, but also health costs. In particular, lack of exercise and a one-sided, high-calorie diet can increase the risk of overweight and obesity and in turn promote the development of noncommunicable diseases.
Currently, 47% of women and 62% of men in Germany are overweight. Almost a fifth of adults are even obese, i.e. morbidly overweight. In children and adolescents, 15% are overweight.
A healthy lifestyle requires a varied, wholesome diet. It is important to keep an eye on both the supply of energy and the supply of nutrients. As part of its nutrition policy, the BMEL pursues a holistic approach in order to make a health-promoting lifestyle possible. In this way, the risk of diet-related illnesses is to be reduced.
One of their key nutritional goals is therefore to help consumers reduce calorie intake while maintaining a balanced diet. The key to this lies in improving nutritional competence at all stages of life. To this end, the Ministry is focusing above all on education and nutrition education with the projects of the National Action.
With the coalition agreement, the BMEL was commissioned to develop a sustainable and scientifically sound strategy for reducing sugar, fats and salt in finished products.
This is a unique approach in Europe because sugar, fats and salt are treated in a common strategy. With this strategy, Federal Nutrition Minister Klöckner wants to open the eyes of manufacturers to new, innovative products on the market, for example.
The food industry has committed itself to achieving concrete reduction targets by 2025. Implementation will begin at the beginning of 2019. This will be monitored closely until 2025. The first review will take place in autumn 2019. The BMEL will present an interim report at the end of 2020. The goals of the strategy should be achieved by the end of 2025.
In addition, extensive measures will be implemented in the areas of research, innovation and consumer education. Research in this area is to be further expanded and intensified over the next few years.