Take control with new ‘Sugar Smart’ App

Parents can take control of their family’s sugar intake with help from the new Sugar Smart app from Public Health England.

Nationally four-to-10 year olds consume an estimated 5,500 sugar cubes a year (22kg), weighing the same as an average five-year-old. (1,2)

The new Change4Life Sugar Smart app shows how much sugar is lurking in everyday food and drink. It works by scanning the barcode of products and revealing the amount of total sugar content.

Change4Life has also created a short film, which warns parents about the health risks of eating and drinking too much sugar, including becoming overweight and tooth decay.

The film brings to life the excessive amount of sugar consumed by the average child per year; currently three times more than the new maximum recommended daily amount. (3)

In Somerset 23 per cent of children in Reception year are obese or overweight and 31.6 per cent in Year 6. (4)

This means they are more likely to become obese adults who are more prone to a range of serious health problems, such as heart disease, some cancers and Type 2 diabetes. (5,6)

Cllr. Anna Groskop, Cabinet member with responsibility for health, Somerset County Council said: “The latest child obesity figures for Somerset highlight the importance for families to cut back on sugar in the diet which is in our everyday foods”.

Dr Matthew Dolman, an Axbridge GP and Chairman of the Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Somerset’s family doctors see too many patients who are suffering ill health after a lifetime of eating a poor diet, with far too much sugar, fat and salt. But the majority of their eating habits started when they were children and that is why we are encouraging parents and children to be more aware of the amount of sugar in their diet.

“Just small changes in what we eat can make a big difference and what better way of checking the amount of sugar your child could be eating than with this fun app.”

Download the Change4Life Sugar Smart app today to find out how much sugar is in the food and drink your family consumes every day and search ‘Change4Life’ for lots of free support, tips, ideas and recipes.

– Ends –

1. National Diet and Nutrition Survey. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/
Health Survey for England – 2013,
2.The Health and Social Care Information Centre. Available at: http://www.hscic.gov.uk/catalogue/PUB16076
3. Somerset figures NCMP. England 2014-2015. Available at http://www.hscic.gov.uk/catalogue/PUB19109.
4.Singh AS, Mulder C, Twisk JW, van Mechelen W, Chinapaw MJ. (2008) Tracking of childhood overweight into adulthood: a systematic review of the literature. Obesity Review; 9(5): 474-88
5. Diabetes UK.
Number diagnosed with diabetes rises.
6. Public Health England. Adult obesity and type 2 diabetes.

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