A diabetes charity has welcomed the decision by a major food retailer to stop selling diabetic foods.
Zoe Harrison, care advisor at Diabetes UK, said she was "delighted" by the Co-operative Group's announcement to remove some products designed for diabetic people from its shelves, pointing out that most of the foodstuffs were not healthy enough for regular consumption.
She argued that non-diabetic people would benefit from the withdrawal of chocolate, jams, marmalades and squash drinks aimed at diabetic people because the high volumes of fat and artificial sweeteners contained in the products were damaging public health.
"These foods do not contain sugar so people may think that labelling them as 'suitable for diabetics' means it's okay to eat large quantities," Ms Harrison explained.
"However, diabetic foods are also high in fat and are therefore unadvisable in large quantities for people with or without diabetes."
Although the 380 Co-operative pharmacies and food stores around the UK will not be selling diabetic-suitable 'treat' foods any longer, most major supermarkets in Britain will continue to stock them on their shelves.
"We hope other pharmacies and supermarkets will follow its example," Ms Harrison said.
Over 1.8 million people suffer from diabetes in the UK. Although that amounts to only three per cent of the country the number is rising – up from 1.4 million in 1996, thanks to increased levels of obesity and Britain's ageing population.