Research Banner

Research

Research Updates | Consumption

Cross-sectional survey of the amount of sugar and energy in cakes and biscuits for sale in the UK for the evaluation of the sugar-reduction programme

14 / 11 / 18

Finding: British cakes and biscuits vary in their sugar and energy content.

Summary:

A cross-sectional survey was carried out of 381 cakes and 481 biscuits (packaged) sold in nine UK supermarkets in 2016. This information is to be used as baseline data to monitor the UK sugar-reduction programme in which manufacturers are being asked to reduce sugar by 20%. Nutrition information was collected from the label. The average total sugar content in cakes was 36.6+/-7.6g/100g and 30+/-9.2g/100g in biscuits, and the mean energy content was 406+/-37 kcal for cakes and 484+/-38 kcal/100g for biscuits. Mean sugar content of cakes per serving was 16.9+/-7.6g, and for biscuits 6.2+/-3.7g.  There was a large variation in sugar and energy content between and within different cake and biscuit categories. Genoa cakes contained one of the highest sugar contents (due to the presence of dried fruit) but lowest energy content. In biscuits, shortbreads with additions contained the highest amount of energy* but lowest sugar content. The authors conclude there is room for reformulation to reduce sugar content in these food categories.

Citation:

Hashem K M, He F J, Alderton S A, McGregor G. Cross-sectional survey of the amount of sugar and energy in cakes and biscuits on sale in the UK for the evaluation of the sugar-reduction programme. BMJ Open 2018; vol 8-7

*Probably due to high butter content