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Can allergy risk be reduced?

Approximately 6% of British children under the age of six develop a food allergy, while 20% develop allergic diseases such as eczema and asthma (not always triggered by foods).

Warning: our global diet is not sustainable

What with the UK's referendum on EU membership next month, the government's Childhood Obesity Strategy on the horizon and the National Living Wage now in place, the food and drink industry has a lot to think about. If all that wasn't enough, some bigger players face the Apprenticeship Levy from next April and the soft drinks sector can look forward to a sugar tax in 2018.

Coconut oil: superfood or not?

The nutrition science community is becoming increasingly concerned about the health halo around coconut oil and the risk to health if consumption becomes a regular occurrence.

Sugar soft drinks tax: a ‘dead cat’ distraction

George Osborne’s announcement of a sugar tax on soft drinks in last month's budget took everyone by complete surprise. Cynics were quick to accuse him of blatantly trying to deflect attention from declining growth forecasts.

Folic acid back on the agenda?

In October 2015, the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) wrote to UK health ministers about recent information that adds weight to the case for effective measures to improve folate status, especially of women in reproductive years.

Range reviews point to more pain in store

Asda is the latest high street multiple to announce that it was conducting a “range review’’, wherein as much as 25% of its stock-keeping units (SKUs) will be removed from sale in some categories.

New dietary guidelines issued in US

Dietary guidelines are updated on a five-year cycle in the US, following review of the scientific evidence.

Food industry bosses want UK to stay in EU

The big beasts of industry are starting to nail their colours to the mast as we move towards a referendum on the UK’s continuing membership of the EU.

Battle of the bulge is set to notch up a gear

As we start the new year, the food and drink industry awaits with much anticipation what the government is going to call on it to deliver as part of its childhood obesity strategy.

Childhood obesity strategy anticipated

A paper in the Lancet in September revealed that while we are living longer, poor diet now exceeds smoking as a risk factor for chronic diseases in England. So, the policy focus on nutrition is unlikely to go away any time soon.

Novel foods set for EU overhaul

Novel foods and ingredients are defined as those that have not been sold in the EU to a significant degree prior to 1997, when the novel foods regulation was enacted, or have been subject to a novel production process resulting in significant change to composition or structure that affect nutrition, metabolism or level of undesirable substances. The approval process involves rigorous safety assessment.

Leatherhead Research is picked up for £1.6M

Speculation that began circulating over the past month that Leatherhead Food Research (LFR)was in financial difficulties and had entered administration was proved correct when an announcement was made that the organisation had been acquired by the Science Group for £1.6M.

Coconut wake-up call

Coconut products are everywhere, but do consumers realise how rich many of these can be in saturated fat?

What prospect for food should Corbyn win?

Jeremy Corbyn, who is leading the other candidates in the polls to become the next leader of the Labour Party, divides opinion. Those on the right see him as an unreconstructed leftie who would make Labour unelectable. His fans – including many young people – see him as a man of principle whose views haven't been swayed in pursuit of popularity

It’s fibre’s turn!

With the prospect of fibre recommendations rising to 30g a day for adults from 24g a day, how can diets be adjusted to bring average intakes up from the current 18g a day?

Never mind free sugar, what about the fibre?

Judging from the press coverage it received, it would be easy to get the impression that the recommendations to halve the total daily energy intake derived from free sugars in people's diets from 10% to 5% a day was the only thing of any significance in the 'Carbohydrates and Health' report published last month by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN).

Confusion over saturated fats

The reporting of the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) decision to join the rest of the world in recognising that dietary cholesterol does not have a big impact on blood cholesterol did nothing to stem the confusion about sat fats and heart health.

Greece on the brink: threats for food and drink firms

Greece is a risk to political and monetary union in Europe.  A Greek exit would be regarded as a failure of all EU Members States and highlight a critical weakness in the core philosophy of a European Union.  It would be disastrous for Greece and its people.

Whistleblowers keep silent for lack of trust

Supermarkets appear to be treating their suppliers a little better over the past year, according to a survey conducted by the Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA) Christine Tacon.

BNF: Iodine is one to watch

Recent media coverage about historical iodine levels in organic milk (according to Dairy UK, feed is now supplemented) was a reminder that milk and dairy foods provide about 40% of dietary iodine, another major source is seafood.

EU vote could hinge on government popularity

High levels of campylobacter in fresh supermarket chicken or a UK exit from the EU after a referendum: it's difficult to say which should be of more immediate concern to the nation’s food sector.

Uncertainty is on the cards post May 7 vote

In just over a day’s time it will all be over (we hope). The nation will have spoken, and with it will be an end to all the political posturing we have endured over the past month or so. No more claim and counter claim from political parties vying for our attention and, more importantly, our votes.

BNF: There's a folate deficiency in young women

One in five teenage girls and young women aged 16–24 years in the UK are deficient in the B vitamin folate, according to the latest figures from the government’s National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS).

Animal by-product changes worry industry

Sir,I am writing with reference to your article (‘Industry resists inspection charges’ , Food Manufacture, April 2015, p37) on the proposal to impose further costs on the food chain by requiring the industry to accept charges for hygiene inspection.

Childhood obesity plateauing

Though still unacceptably high, childhood obesity rates appear to be plateauing, suggesting that the focus on nutrition in schools and other settings is finally starting to pay off. But are we missing a trick?

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