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Put down that sufganiyah, health minister tells Israelis

Health Minister Yaakov Litzman urged the public to refrain from eating “sufganiyot”, the round jelly doughnuts that are a traditional treat during the holiday of Hanukkah.

“It is possible to find replacements for everything today and there is no need for us to stuff our kids with doughnuts that are incompatible with the values of health and proper nutrition,” said Litzman.

The health minister, who is a member of the ultra-Orthodox United Torah Judaism party, irked some companies in April when he criticized the McDonald’s fast food chain.

“I intend to go all the way with the campaign for proper nutrition,” he said in August. Education is the key to fixing the problem, starting with schools, he added.

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Several weeks ago, Litzman introduced a plan for new regulations aimed at improving Israelis’ nutrition. It entails a requirement that food products carry a sticker indicating whether or not they are considered healthy and providing a level of health risk linked to the ingredients.

In the first stage, stickers will be affixed to foods containing over 800 milligrams of sodium, 22 grams of sugar, or 6 grams of saturated fat in a 100-gram portion. Criteria will then reportedly be tightened.

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