It is inaccurate to claim a sugary diet is as dangerous as smoking, former Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has said.
Mr Lansley said that instead of slashing the amount of sugar in consumers’ diets, the food industry should be allowed to reduce the level incrementally, otherwise people would not accept it.
The Commons Leader said the analogy between sugar and tobacco was not appropriate, telling MPs the food industry had already reduced the amount of salt in food. His comments came as a group of doctors likened the danger posed by sweet foods to smoking tobacco as they launched a campaign to cut the amount of sugar we consume.
Speaking during his weekly question and answer session in the Commons, Mr Lansley said: “We have had significant success in the reduction of salt in food but it has to be understood that this can only be achieved working with the industry on a voluntary basis ... and it can only be done on an incremental basis.
“You can’t simply slash the sugar in food otherwise people simply won’t accept it.