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UK: Pepsi hits back at obesity claims

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PepsiCo was among the food and drink companies to give evidence in the UK last week to defend its products in an investigation into rising obesity levels among children.

Figures from PepsiCo, McDonalds, Kellogs and Cadbury Schweppes met with a committee of MPs to argue that uniformed parents and unhealthy lifestyles were the root of the problem, rather than fast foods and soft drinks.

The companies defended themselves against the prospect of health warnings on soft drinks and confectionary or a ban on advertising.

Andrew Cosslett, managing director of Cadbury Schweppes in Europe, told the cross-party Select Health Committee: "I don't think there's any correlation between confectionery consumption and obesity.

"All the evidence suggests that people eat our products extremely sensibly. The problem is that people are buying things that they think are low-fat, products that are masquerading as healthy with misleading labels."

The companies also argued that larger servings of their products promoted choice and served public demand. 

Coslett went on to argue that the prospect of health warnings on such food and drink products was "dangerous" while we still didn't understand the problem fully.

Andrew Glenn, president of PepsiCo UK, said the solution to obesity was a balanced diet including five portions of vegetables or fruit a day.


Sectors: Soft drinks

Companies: PepsiCo, Cadbury

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