A new campaign was launched this week encouraging parents to get ‘Sugar Smart’ and take control of their children’s sugar intake.
The Change4Life campaign follows revelations that four-to-10 year olds consume an estimated 5,500 sugar cubes a year, weighing 22 kg – the same weight as an average five-year-old.
Currently, 22% of four to five-year-olds are overweight or obese in Yorkshire and The Humber, increasing to 33% in 10 to 11-year-olds. This means they are more likely to become obese adults who are more prone to a range of serious health problems, such as heart disease, some cancers and Type 2 diabetes.
A new Sugar Smart app has been launched to help parents to see how much sugar there is in everyday food and drink. The free app works by scanning barcodes of products and revealing the amount of total sugar they contain in cubes and grams such as:
- six cubes of sugar in a 43g chocolate bar
- five or more cubes in a 200ml juice drink
- nine cubes in a can of cola -instantly taking children up to or over their recommended maximum for the day.
Change4Life has created an eye-opening short film, which warns parents about the health harms of eating and drinking too much sugar, including becoming overweight and tooth decay. The film brings to life the excessive amount of sugar consumed by the average child per year; currently three times more than the new maximum recommended daily amount.
Dr Tim Allison, Director of Public Health at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said:“Healthy eating is extremely important for children and young people in the East Riding, to give them the best start in life. Levels of childhood obesity locally continue to be a cause for concern.
“Children aged five shouldn’t have more than 19 grams of sugar per day – that’s five cubes, but it’s very easy to have more. That’s why we want parents to be ‘Sugar Smart’. Public Health England’s easy to use app will help parents see exactly where the sugar in their children’s diet is coming from, so they can make informed choices about what to cut down on.”
Five million Sugar Smart packs will be given away to primary school children and their families through schools, local authorities and retailers.
Download the Change4Life Sugar Smart app to find out how much sugar is in the food and drink your family consumes every day and search ‘Change4Life’ for lots of free support, tips, ideas and recipes.