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Under fire for ‘unhealthy products’, Nestle promises to update health strategy

Nestle, the manufacturer of KitKat, Maggi noodles, Nescafe, describes 3.5 star as a "recognised definition of health"

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi |
May 31, 2021 6:20:30 pm
Nestle, Nestle food products, Nestle news, Nestle under scanner, Nestle unhealthy food products, Nestle health strategy, healthier eating, healthier living, indian express newsNestle has said in a statement it is working on a "company-wide project" to update its nutrition and health strategy. (Photographer: Stefan Wermuth/Bloomberg)

Acknowledging in an internal document that more than 60 per cent of its mainstream food and drink products do not meet a “recognised definition of health”, and that some of the categories and products will “never be healthy” no matter how much they “renovate”, Nestle said on Monday it was working on updating its nutrition and health strategy.

One of the largest food companies in the world, Nestle came under the scanner when Financial Times reported on its internal document findings. According to the outlet, a presentation circulated among top executives earlier this year stated only 37 per cent of Nestle’s food and beverages by revenues — excluding products like pet food and specialised medical nutrition — achieve a rating above 3.5 in Australia’s health star rating system.

Per the report, this system scores foods out of five stars and is used in research by international groups such as the Access to Nutrition Foundation.

Nestle, the manufacturer of KitKat, Maggi noodles, Nescafe, describes 3.5 star as a “recognised definition of health”.

According to the FT report, even within its overall food and drink portfolio, some 70 per cent of food products failed to meet that threshold, along with 96 per cent of beverages — excluding pure coffee — and 99 per cent of confectionery and ice cream portfolio.

Water and dairy products, however, scored better with 82 per cent of waters and 60 per cent of dairy meeting the desired threshold.

The data excluded baby formula food, pet food, coffee, and the health science division, which makes foods for people with certain medical conditions. The findings of the report arrive as there is a worldwide push to fight obesity and promote healthier eating.

According to a Reuters update, Nestle has said in a statement now that it is working on a “company-wide project” to update its nutrition and health strategy, looking at its entire portfolio to make sure its products helped “meet people’s nutritional needs”.

Additionally, it said while it had reduced sugars and sodium in its products by about 14-15 per cent in the past seven years, it would continue in its efforts to make products healthier.

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