Children exceed sugar limit by age 10, PHE claims

03/01/2019 - 08:53
Children exceed the maximum recommended sugar limit for an 18-year-old by the time they reach age 10, according to Public Health England (PHE).

Based on the their total sugar consumption from age two, the figure has been released with the launch of the Change4Life campaign, which aims to support families to cut back on sugar and help tackle growing rates of childhood obesity.

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

A third of children leave primary school overweight or obese, so PHE claims that tackling obesity requires wider action and  it is not just limited to individual efforts from parents.

PHE has been working with the food industry to remove 20% of sugar from the products contributing the most to children’s sugar intakes by 2020.

In May 2018, PHE published progress against the first-year sugar reduction ambition of 5%, which showed an average 2% reduction in sugar across categories for retailers and manufacturers.

While breakfast cereals and yoghurts and fromage frais were among the categories meeting or exceeding the 5% target, some products in the categories are still high in sugar.

To help with efforts, Change4Life has also been encouraging parents to ‘make a swap when you next shop’.

Tedstone added: “To make this easier for busy families, Change4Life is offering a straightforward solution – by making simple swaps each day, children can have healthier versions of everyday foods and dinks while significantly reducing their sugar intake.”

It claims that by making simple everyday swaps, parents can reduce children’s sugar intake from some products, such as yoghurts, drinks and breakfast cereals by half in addition to giving them healthier versions of the food and drinks they enjoy.

To help find the healthier options, people have been encouraged to look for the Change4Life ‘good choice’ badge in shops or download the free Food Scanner app.

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