‘Sugar smart’ public health campaign targets children’s sugar intake
Source: Public Health England / Department of Health
A smartphone app that shows users the sugar content of more than 75,000 food and drink products has been launched as part of a national public health campaign in England.
The ‘Sugar smart’ campaign by Public Health England (PHE) aims to help parents understand the sugar content of the food and drinks they give to their children and provides tips on how to cut down on sugar. The campaign also includes a minute-long video that warns parents that sugar can cause serious tooth decay — the most common reason children are admitted to hospital — and increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers in adulthood.
The initiative, promoted under the Change4Life banner, kicks off with an advertising campaign on 4 January 2015. Five million ‘Sugar smart’ packs will be distributed to primary school age children and a national roadshow is planned. Information about the campaign — including access to the app — is available on the Change4Life website.
According to PHE, on average children aged between four and ten years each consume the equivalent of more than 5,500 sugar cubes annually, which together weigh around 22kg. PHE recommends a daily maximum of 19g of sugar — equal to five sugar cubes — for children aged four to six years, rising to 24g for seven to ten year olds and 30g for children aged over 11 years.
“Children are having too much sugar; three times the maximum recommended amount,” says Alison Tedstone, PHE’s chief nutritionist. “Our 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.”
Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2016.20200374
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