Sugar off shelf for health

Herald Sun - - NEWS - KAREN COL­LIER

AUS­TRALIANS are re­duc­ing sugar from their di­ets and choos­ing health­ier snacks and drinks, ac­cord­ing to new shop­ping habits re­search.

Gro­cery sales of overly sweet bis­cuits, spreads, dips, milk flavour­ings and yo­ghurt are shrink­ing as more low­sugar ver­sions in­stead land in trol­leys, a re­view has found.

The shift was tracked by com­bined Nielsen and The Ge­orge In­sti­tute re­search match­ing nu­tri­tional de­tails on prod­uct la­bels with sales in­for­ma­tion for the first time.

Nielsen di­rec­tor of food an­a­lyt­ics Sarah Mc­Kee said health ed­u­ca­tion and the avail­abil­ity of more whole­some al­ter­na­tives was chang­ing pur­chas­ing pat­terns.

“The search for low sugar is a new main­stream be­hav­iour,” Ms Mc­Kee said. Al­most three in 10 Aus­tralians were “very con­cerned” about sugar con­sump­tion, she said.

Most wor­ried were peo­ple aged 55 or older; sin­gles; and cou­ples with­out chil­dren.

Ex­ces­sive sugar con­trib­utes to risks such as weight gain and tooth de­cay, health ex­perts warn.

The snap­shot anal­y­sis found spend­ing on high-sugar bis­cuits and spreads fell 9 per cent in the year to De­cem­ber.

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