New Change4Life campaign encourages families to make sugar swaps

February 12, 2016

Sugar Smart campaign 2_resizedA new Change4Life campaign launched today by Public Health England encourages parents to cut down the amount of sugar their children consume by making one or more simple swaps.

The campaign launches following a new survey amongst Netmums users who were polled on their views on sugar. The results highlight that nearly half (47%) of mums surveyed think their family has too much sugar in their diets and two-thirds of mums (67%) are worried about the amount of sugar their children consume.

Eating and drinking too much sugar means extra calories, which causes fat to build up inside the body. This can lead to heart disease, some cancers or type 2 diabetes later in life.

Children who are overweight or obese when they are young are far more likely to become overweight or obese adults. Recently published data highlights that approximately 1 in 5 children aged 4 to 5 years old and 1 in 3 children aged 10 to 11 years old is overweight or obese.

Sugar can also have a devastating impact upon dental health, an integral part of overall health. Tooth decay was the most common reason for hospital admissions for children aged 5 to 9 in 2012 to 2013. Twenty-eight percent of 5 year olds in England have tooth decay and of these, 24% have 5 or more teeth affected. When children are not healthy this affects their ability to learn, thrive and develop.

While guidelines state that no more that 10% of a person’s daily energy or calorie intake should be made up of sugar, at present, children aged 4 to 10 years are consuming up to 50% more than this. Children aged 4 to 10 get:

  • 17% of their daily sugar from soft drinks
  • 17% from biscuits, buns, cakes, pastries and fruit pies
  • 14% from confectionery
  • 13% from fruit juice
  • 8% from breakfast cereals

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