Saturated fats and trans fats reduction

reduce fat

Saturated fats and trans fats reduction

What is the issue?

Fats and oils are an important part of a healthy and balanced diet. However, an excess of saturated fats (such as butter or animal fats) and trans fats (fats originating from partially hydrogenated oils) is associated with a higher risk of serious diseases such as cardiovascular disease. In many countries around the world, consumption of these fats is above the level recommended by public health bodies like the World Health Organisation (WHO).

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Why is it important?

As a major food company, we have a responsibility to contribute to public health. In line with recommended fat consumption guidelines we are committed to reducing the level of saturated fats in our products, and removing trans fats altogether, without sacrificing taste or quality.

 

  • Achieved
  • By 2014 - Ensure 100% of children’s products meet the Nestlé Nutritional Foundation criteria for saturated fats.
  • In progress
  • By 2016 - Further reduce saturated fat content by 10% in products that do not meet the Nestlé Nutritional Foundation criteria.
  • By 2016 - Remove trans fats originating from partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) from our global product portfolio.
Society

Improving health by helping consumers meet their daily recommended saturated fat intake.

Business

Meeting consumer expectations, enhancing corporate reputation and complying with legislation and guidelines.

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What are we doing about it?

The WHO recommends that no more than 10% of calories in our diet should come from saturated fat, and no more than 1% from trans fat. In line with these recommendations, we have global policies on the levels of saturated fat and trans fat in our products that set out objectives for each.

For saturated fat, our target is to further reduce the saturated fat content of products that do not meet the Nestlé Nutritional Foundation criteria by an average of at least 10% by 2016. For trans fat, our objective is to remove it entirely from all our food and drink products by 2016. We are on track to achieve this global objective. Currently, 98.5% of the oils we purchase meet the Nestlé Policy on Trans Fats.

In the UK all hydrogenated vegetable oils (both fully and partially hydrogenated) (PHVO) have been removed from our product portfolio since 2011.

We have achieved global reductions in saturated fats in our foods and beverages of 1,900 tonnes, or 2.2% towards our objective of a 10% reduction. We are developing new, promising technical solutions for the remainder of the products. Read our global report for more.

Tackling obesity and helping people to make healthier choices is a major priority for this Government.

It is encouraging to see companies such as Nestle making changes to give customers healthier choices and lower fat alternatives. Although there is further to go, significant progress has been made by some companies in recent years to shape a healthier environment. I hope to see others follow suit.
Jane Ellison MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public Health

These commitments to help reduce saturated fat are an important step forward. They recognise that too much saturated fat can increase cholesterol levels and cause heart disease and premature deaths which is why it’s fantastic that so many companies have committed to helping people cut down on their consumption.
Professor Susan Jebb, then Chair of the Responsibility Deal Food Network (1)

Reducing saturated fat in the UK

In the UK, government health guidelines recommend that no more than 11% of our food energy should come from saturated fat. To support this recommendation, our business in the UK has signed up to the government’s Public Health Responsibility Deal, in which influential companies commit to improving public health through a series of pledges.

We are one of only 19 signatories that have pledged to reduce saturated fat. This pledge commits us to reformulating our products to reduce fat, as well as reviewing our portion sizes and encouraging our consumers (and our own employees) to choose healthier options. The National Diet and Nutrition Survey will monitor our progress in fat reduction, and we will report on this annually.

Some of our key achievements under this pledge include:

• reducing the saturated fat level across all Kit Kat products produced in the UK by 3,300 tonnes.
• developing lower saturated fat recipes, with smaller portions and using healthier ingredients.
• reducing the saturated fat in our Lion, Kit Kat Chunky, Drifter and Yorkie bars by a total of 482 tonnes.
• removing 7.95 tonnes of saturated fat from our fab ice-cream in 2015 (2).
• launching new confectionery products with a smaller portion size.
• offering all employees nutrition training, including on reducing saturated fat in diets.

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What’s next?

Reducing saturated fat in our products continues to be a focus of our reformulation work, in line with our commitments and recommended official guidance.

Footnotes

1. Press release, Thousands of tonnes of saturated fat to be taken out of the nation’s diet, 26 October 2013; https://www.gov.uk/government/news/thousands-of-tonnes-of-saturated-fat-to-be-taken-out-of-the-nations-diet

2. Calculated using 2014 vs 2015 nutrient changes and 2015 sales data. The figures are not cumulative