Children consuming 18 years worth of sugar by the time they’re 10

childrenChildren have exceeded the recommended sugar intake of an 18-year-old by the time they reach 10, Public Health England (PHE) says.

The figures show children are consuming around eight more sugar cubes every day than is recommended.

This is despite children’s sugar intake levels declining slightly in recent years.

‘Children are consuming too much sugar,’ Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at PHE, said.

‘But parents can take action now to prevent this building up over the years.

‘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 drinks, while significantly reducing their sugar intake.’

‘Make a swap when you next shop’

These figures come on the back of a new campaign aiming to support families on cutting back their sugar consumption.

Change4life is asking parents to try simple everyday swaps to help reduce children’s sugar intake.

The campaign encourages parents to ‘make a swap when you next shop’, choosing healthier versions of  what they consume.

Change4life is suggesting parents try swapping:

  • A higher-sugar yoghurt for a lower sugar one, to halve sugar intake from six cubes of sugar to three
  • Sugary juice drinks for no-added sugar juice drinks, to cut back from two cubes to half a cube
  • A higher-sugar breakfast cereal for a lower sugar cereal, to cut back from three cubes to half a cube per bowl.

Pudding tax

PHE is asking the Government to consider a ‘pudding tax’ if manufacturers fail to reduce sugar content in their products.

Most of children’s sugar is consumed in the form of sugary drinks, sweets, biscuits, cakes and puddings.

‘If we see less progress, there would be a case for fiscal measures,’ Dr Tedstone told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

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