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Food Firms Called Out on Unhealthy Food Revenues

Despite claiming to have an active focus on improving the healthfulness of their products, new analysis has highlighted that some of the world’s biggest food manufacturers remain over-reliant on the sales of unhealthy foods. More than 2,000 products produced and sold by Danone, Kellogg’s, Kraft Heinz, Nestlé and Unilever across Australia, France and Mexico were assessed against government-endorsed definitions of healthier food and drink, in a project conducted by research group World Action on Salt, Sugar and Health (WASSH) and supported by UK-based NGO ShareAction. The report noted that Australia had the highest proportion of unhealthy products (65%), followed by France (63%) and Mexico (60%), with Danone being the only one of the assessed manufacturers with a greater share of healthier products available in each of the three countries. As investors become increasingly concerned about exposure to regulatory risk if companies fail to reduce their reliance on the sales of unhealthy products, WASSH and ShareAction have called for all global food manufacturers to disclose the proportion of their sales classified as healthy and to further set measurable targets to improve access to and availability of healthier food. “These [unhealthy] products are contributing to a global public health crisis, including the significant rises in type two diabetes and obesity,” said Holly Gabriel, Campaign Lead for Consumer Health at ShareAction. “Food companies and investors that fail to adapt to increasing government regulation to improve health and growing public demand for healthier products face financial risks.” 

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