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The future of food: opportunities to improve health through reformulation

Food industry and trade Food consumption Nutrition Healthy food Public health Obesity United Kingdom

Many of us live in environments where the food that is most readily available is unhealthy. One way we can change this is by reducing the calorie density of the food we eat through reformulation. Calorie density is the number of calories per gram of food, with higher calorie-dense food providing more energy in smaller quantities than less calorie-dense food. This is particularly appealing as these changes are often imperceivable and don’t require individual-level behaviour change. Reformulating foods means using new ingredients, changing recipes or adapting manufacturing processes to reduce their calorie density.

This report uncovers the food categories that could be promising targets for reformulation and identifies the main barriers and opportunities of reformulation for industry and policy-makers. The authors conducted mixed methods research that included interviews with industry and public health stakeholders, alongside analysis of in-home food and drink purchases for over 29,000 households in Great Britain.

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