New health campaign wants us all to watch the sugar - The Evesham Observer

New health campaign wants us all to watch the sugar

Evesham Editorial 5th Jan, 2018   0

PUBLIC Health England (PHE) is encouraging parents in the West Midlands take control of their children’s snacking by launching a Change4Life campaign promoting healthier snacks.

This is because half of children’s sugar intake, currently the equivalent of around seven sugar cubes a day, comes from unhealthy snacks and sugary drinks, leading to obesity and dental decay.

Recent data show childhood obesity has reached alarming rates, with 24.2 per cent of four to five-year-olds (Reception class age) overweight or obese in the region, increasing to 37.1 per cent in 10 to 11-year olds (Year 6 age).

Each year children are consuming almost 400 biscuits, more than 120 cakes, buns and pastries, around 100 portions of sweets, nearly 70 of both chocolate bars and ice creams all washed down with more than 150 juice drink pouches and cans of fizzy drink, says PHE.

It says that on average, children are consuming at least three unhealthy snacks and sugary drinks a day, with around a third consuming four or more.

The overall result is that children consume three times more sugar than is recommended.

The new Change4Life campaign encourages parents in Redditch and beyond to ‘Look for 100 calorie snacks, two-a-day max’ to help them buy healthier snacks.

Parents will be signposted and given special offers on a range of healthier snacks, including fruit and vegetables at selected supermarkets.

They can also get money-off vouchers to help them try healthier snack options, including malt loaf, lower sugar fromage frais, and drinks with no added sugar.

Many of the unhealthy snacks children consume regularly are high in sugar and also typically high in calories, for example:

An ice-cream contains around 175 calories.

A pack of crisps contains around 190 calories.

A chocolate bar contains around 200 calories.

A pastry contains around 270 calories.

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