F8. Saturated Fat Reduction


“Recognising the role of over-consumption of saturated fat in the risk of premature avoidable mortality from cardiovascular and coronary heart disease, and public health recommendations to reduce saturated fat consumption (to less than 11% of food energy for everyone over 5yrs of age, compared to current levels of 12.7%):

We will support and enable people to consume less saturated fat through actions such as product/menu reformulation, reviewing portion sizes, education and information and incentivising consumers to choose healthier options. We will monitor and report on our actions on an annual basis. Progress in reducing people’s saturated fat intakes will be measured via the National Diet and Nutrition Survey.”

The following provides background and supporting information to help organisations understand what this pledge sets out to achieve and how, by becoming a Responsibility Deal partner, you can help deliver this pledge.

What this pledge sets out to achieve and why it is important

The food industry has been working voluntarily to reduce saturated fat levels in food for a number of years. The saturated fat reduction pledge provides a mechanism for the food and drink industry to make and record on-going contributions to helping the population meet the recommended 11% of food energy goal /maximum intake target.

Benefits to public health

Reducing saturated fat intakes can lower total and LDL blood cholesterol which in turn can reduce the risk of developing heart disease.
Reducing saturated fat intakes from 12.7% to the recommended levels would prevent approximately 2,600 premature deaths each year.

How you can deliver this pledge

Actions by businesses that become partners will be dependent upon the food sector they operate in (catering, manufacturing, and retailing), the individual business and the type of food sold. Public health groups and other organisations also have a role to play in saturated fat reduction and would be eligible to sign up to the pledge by taking actions such as running consumer awareness campaigns, providing dietary advice to consumers and undertaking surveys of food composition.

Supporting Principles
Any actions to reduce saturated fat intake should adhere to the following supporting principles

  • Seek to deliver long-term and sustained reductions in saturated fat intake
  • Seek to avoid the potential for unintended consequences by having due regard to:
    • Government healthy eating advice and specific dietary advice for young children and vulnerable groups who have particular dietary requirements
    • Specific compositional legislation e.g. for foods for particular nutritional uses
    • The micro-nutrient content of foods recommended as food swaps for nutritionally important foods (particular consideration should be given to calcium, iron and vitamin b12).
  • Focus reformulation efforts to achieve absolute reductions in saturated fat levels, substitution of saturated fats by unsaturated fats, and not result in increased trans fats levels.
  • Actions should not conflict with, and if possible should support, work to reduce the salt and/or calorie content of products.
  • Provide measurable actions within a specific timescale.
  • Support sustainable and responsible economic growth.

Before you sign up

In advance of signing, we would request that you send an outline of how you intend to comply with the pledge to the email address below. We will then be able to give you informal feedback prior to formal sign up.

For further information, please email foodnetwork@dh.gsi.gov.uk or call 020 7972 1372.

Your pledge delivery plan

Shortly after signing up, partners will be asked to provide pledge delivery plans, laying out how they intend to meet each of the pledges they have signed up to. They will have up to 2,000 characters to describe their plans for each pledge they are signed up to. All delivery plans will be published on this website.

Reporting progress on your pledge

Partners will be asked to report on their progress by the end of April each year. For some pledges, partners will be asked to report using pre-defined quantitative measures, while for others they will be asked for a narrative update. Further information on the reporting arrangements for each food pledge for the reporting period 2014/2015 is available. All annual updates will be published on this website.

Partners can complete their delivery plans and annual updates online. Please login here.

Partners currently committed to this pledge (18):

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