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Ban sharebags says anti-sugar charity

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Shocking levels of sugar in supersize bags are causing an obesity crisis

Supersized “sharing” bags of confectionary should be banned, a health charity has said.

Action on Sugar (AoS) is calling for a 20% sugar tax on confectionery in a fight against obesity alongside a ban on supermarket deals for “sharing” bags of treats like Maltesers, M&Ms and Cadbury Dairy Milk Giant Buttons.

Research by trade magazine The Grocer found a fifth of adults easily get through family size bags alone, rising to more than a third of 16 to 24-year-olds.

The AoS study of 95 types of sharing bags found M&Ms Chocolate (133g), Marks & Spencer Gigantic Milk Chocolate Buttons (170g) and Lidl’s Mister Choc White Chocolate Buttons (140g) were among the highest with 23 teaspoons of sugar.

It claims banning offers on sweets could slash the UK’s sugar intake by two teaspoons per head every day.

Graham MacGregor, professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at Queen Mary University of London and chairman of Action on Sugar said: “It is shocking that food companies are being allowed to exploit consumers, by manipulating them into purchasing larger size bags of chocolate confectionery on the cheap.

“Prime minister Theresa May is letting companies get away with this despite pledging to help the socially deprived when she first became the prime minster.

“Companies must be held accountable and reminded to reconsider their ethical and corporate responsibility.”

Industry body the Food and Drink Federation hit back and said it was opposed to any kind of food taxes.

“There is no substantive evidence that they make any meaningful difference to obesity,” it said. “Instead of demonising individual nutrients, products or categories we should instead be promoting balanced diets.”

Earlier this month Barrs cut the sugar content of Irn Bru by 40% ahead of the sugar tax on drinks.