AB Sugar’s launch of a new campaign to nail the myths about sugar brings to mind the old phrase involving stable doors and horses.

Whichever side of the fence you stand on sugar-and there is no doubt at all that inaccuracies or at the very least unproven facts have been peddled in the media and even deliberately put out there by campaigners-it is hard to imagine this counter initiative cutting through all that noise.

Yet there is a very strong argument in AB’s case, when CEO Mark Carr claims that unless we are careful, the UK is in danger of sleep walking into setting dietary targets which are simply “impossible” for many people to reach.

SACN has already suggested a tough enough target, with its proposals to lower the recommended daily intake of energy from sugar to no more than 5% on a population level. Now campaigners such as Action on Sugar are calling on the DH to go even further and this week researchers from University College London (UCL) and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine said 5% should be the absolute maximum and people should aim for a target of just 3%.

Yet with children aged between 11 and 18 currently wolfing down on average more than 15% of their energy from sugar-and other age categories are not much better- these targets bear little resemblance with reality.

Its not the only major health concern where the real world and DH targets live in parallel worlds.

Last week The Grocer revealed that amid prohibitive costs and muddled marketing from Change4life, the nation was struggling to get anywhere near its five-a-day target for fruit and veg. With the DH considering banning products such as fruit juice from its official five-a-day menu, this could become even more difficult to hit soon.

Whilst its commendable in many ways to set the bar high when it comes to big issues like obesity, there has to be a danger that many people consuming too much sugar, or not eating enough fruit and veg, or falling short of some other target they see as out of reach, will simply give up altogether and let their overall health, not just their teeth, go to rot.