The High Costs of Excess Sugar

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

The costs of obesity in terms of both human health and money spent on medical care are too big to ignore.


Sugar being emptied from a spoon onto pile of sugar below it

1.9 Billion Overweight

  • The number of overweight or obese people around the world has reached epidemic proportions, nearly tripling since 1975.  In 2016, more than 1.9 billion adults, 18 years and older, were  overweight, and 650 million of them were classified as obese.
  • According to recent figures,  58% of women and 68% of men are currently overweight or obese in England.2
  • Sugar consumption increases the risk of consuming too many calories, which can lead to weight gain. Sugar sweetened beverages in particular have been linked to higher weight in children in the UK3.


Rising Medical Costs

  • The UK government spends more each year on the treatment of obesity and diabetes than on the police, fire service and judicial system combined4.
  • Obese individuals  are five times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes and are at an increased risk of cancers.4
  • It is expected that costs to the NHS related to overweight and obesity will reach £9.7bn by 20504.


Worldwide Regulations

With increasing sugar consumption and its associated health risks, at least 49 governments around the world are developing or implementing some regulations on sugar, including soda taxes, advertising restrictions, and labelling guidelines5.


Tell Me More

Berries, mint leaf and sauce next to a sorbert

Many consumers are looking to limit sugars in their diet and appreciate transparency. Why not help them out?

You can help by displaying front of pack nutrition information on menus, cups, wrappers, or other containers. In line with EU guidelines, nutrition information displayed must either state the energy value (kJ and kcal) alone or energy value (kJ and kcal) plus amounts (in grams) of fat, saturates, sugars and salt.

Those who are looking for the information will appreciate your support. It may help guide them to the menu choices that are right for them, or reassure them that their old favourites fall within their needs.

Contact us if you’d like more information on the work we’ve done to reduce sugar and calories in our products. 




  1. WHO, Obesity and Overweight, 2018 
  2. National Office for Statistics, Statistics on Obesity, Physical Activity and Diet – England, 2017 
  3. SACN, Carbohydrates and Health, 2015
  4. PHE, Public Health Matters: Obesity and the Food Environment, 2017 
  5. WCRF, Curbing Global Sugar Consumption, 2015