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Portugal’s health chiefs crack down on sugar

Portugal’s board of health (DGS) has suggested a series of measures to reduce sugar consumption, in line with efforts that are ongoing throughout the world to combat obesity and bad diets.

Suggestions include trying to convince the food industry to use less sugar in their products and offering smaller sugar sachets with coffees.

Sachets will start to contain “just three or four grams of sugar” as opposed to seven or eight, and people will have to ask for them specifically (coffees and espressos ordered in Portugal almost always come with one if not two sachets of sugar).

Another priority is to raise awareness at schools, reinforcing the risks of consuming too much sugar.

The recommendations have been forwarded to the Ministry of Health, said Pedro Graça, coordinator of the national programme to promote healthy diets.

Graça told Lusa news agency that DGS is aware the measures have to be implemented over time, as Portugal is a “gluttonous country” and “century-long habits can’t be changed from one day to another”.

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