31 August 2017

SNE regrets parliamentary support for new rules on slimming foods (Total Diet Replacement)

Specialised Nutrition Europe (SNE), representing manufacturers of specialised nutrition products including slimming foods, is deeply concerned by the vote of support cast today for the new rules on Total Diet Replacements (TDRs). The European Parliament’s Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety rejected a Motion for a Resolution challenging the Commission’s draft Delegated Regulation outlining new rules to govern these products.

For over 30 years, overweight and obese people in Europe have benefitted from a high level of protection with specific EU rules to govern specialised products designed to help them lose weight or maintain weight loss in a safe and sustainable manner. Consumers and healthcare professionals in Europe have relied on these rules for decades to ensure the availability of safe products, of the highest quality, and in line with international standards[1].

The proposed new rules will threaten this standard of consumer protection and will destroy the sector in Europe:

  • The future provisions which will govern TDRs will lead to severe issues with the taste, smell, and palatability of the products, causing poor taste, increased product cost and less variety of products. Consumers could well be pushed away from safe, regulated TDRs towards potentially unsafe alternatives and unregulated food diet options;
  • It is neither feasible nor commercially viable for operators to deliver a range of products with the combination of nutrients required by the new rules (i.e. the combination of high levels of protein, essential fatty acids and choline). The sector will be unable to comply with the new rules and will not be able to operate in Europe.

SNE acknowledges the forthcoming adoption of these new rules and the five-year transition for implementation, but remains deeply concerned that in the context of the obesity epidemic in Europe, the European Union is depriving consumers of the opportunity to access products which currently help them lose weight in a safe and sustainable manner.


Notes to editors:

  • Specialised Nutrition Europe (SNE) is the trade association representing the interests of the specialised nutrition industry, including slimming foods, across the European Union.
  • There are a range of slimming foods that are used for different purposes:
    • Very Low Calorie Diets: diets based on specific slimming foods exclusively, ensuring a fast change in a restrictive diet (400 to 800 calories/day). The proposed program must be strictly respected.
    • Low Calorie Diets: diets based on specific slimming foods exclusively, for an 800-1200 calorie diet. Advice of a healthcare professional is recommended should these products be used for more than three weeks.
    • Meal Replacements for weight control: 200-250 calorie products*, formulated to replace one or two meals /day and to be used as part of an energy restricted diet, other foodstuffs being a necessary part of the diet. (*According to new rules adopted in August 2016).
    • Total diet replacements cover Very Low Calorie Diets and Low Calorie Diets.