Children in England Consume Too Much Sugar

Public Health England this week revealed that results from a recent survey suggest that children are consuming half of their daily recommended sugar intake before the morning school bell rings.

Their research shows that children consume more than 11g of sugar (almost 3 cubes) at breakfast alone. The government recommends that 4 to 6 year olds consume no more than 5 cubes a day and 7 to 10 year olds consume no more than 6 cubes a day. The main sources of these high levels of  sugar are cereals, drinks and spreads.

The research was conducted in November 2016 and involved 200 parents of children aged 4 to 10 years old completing an online survey about their child’s breakfast. The survey also revealed that, as well as children’s consuming too much sugar, 84% of parents whose children were consuming more that 11g of sugar at breakfast thought that they were giving their child a healthy breakfast. This means there needs to be some clarity around the content of breakfast foods to ensure parents are making informed choices about the food they buy.

To address this issue Public Health England’s Change4Life programme have launched the ‘Be Food Smart’ campaign which is encouraging parents to be more aware of the sugar, saturated fat and salt content of the food they buy. It also aims to educate parents of the harm caused by eating unhealthy food.

To support this campaign, Change4Life have developed an app that allows parents to scan the barcodes of products and get a breakdown of their sugar, saturated fat and salt content.  It also provides hints and tips on how to cut down on unhealthy foods and the app also has fun features like food detective activities and missions for the whole family.

The app free and is available on the iTune Store or Google Play.

For more information visit Change4Life’s website.

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