January 21, 2019

Alarming data shows that the average British child has already exceeded the maximum recommended sugar intake for an 18-year-old by the time they turn 10. In order to encourage parents to reduce their children’s sugar intake, Public Health England has launched a new Change4Life campaign that aims to tackle growing rates of childhood obesity.

The campaign is being led with the slogan “Make a swap when you next shop”, and highlights simple everyday actions such as swapping a sugary fruit juice drink for one with no added sugar. These simple swaps can easily work to reduce overall sugar intake for children. Although sugar intake among children has decreased slightly over the past few years, on average children still exceed the recommended limits by eight sugar cubes per day.

Sugar is a necessary source of dietary energy, but the frequency and quantity of sugar is the main cause of dental decay as well as contributing to the issue of childhood obesity. Preventing dental decay requires the sensible use of sugar, rather than its total elimination from the diet.

“Children are consuming too much sugar, but parents can take action now to prevent this building up over the years,” said Dr Alison Tedstone, Chief Nutritionist at PHE.

The Change4Life campaign is designed to help busy families by making it easier to make the right choices and offer a straightforward solution to daily simple swaps. Children can have healthier versions of everyday foods and drinks, while significantly reducing their sugar intake. More information is available at https://www.nhs.uk/change4life