Healthier foods call to parents as children consume bodyweight in sugar in year


Revelations some British children are consuming their bodyweight in sugar each year have prompted a Government campaign urging parents to make healthier food choices.

Public Health England (PHE) today released television, digital and outdoor advertising for the "Change4Life" campaign, accompanied by a free phone app that allows users to scan the barcode of products and learn how much sugar they contain in grams or cubes.

Children aged between four and 10 eat around 22kg of sugar every year, or the average weight of a five-year-old, according to PHE.

In 2013, almost a third of the country's five-year-olds and almost half of its eight-year-olds had tooth decay, but the campaign also highlights other sugar-related health risks such as diabetes and obesity.

PHE chief nutritionist Dr Alison Tedstone said: "Children are having too much sugar - three times the maximum recommended amount.

"This can lead to painful tooth decay, weight gain and obesity, which can also affect children's well-being as they are more likely to be bullied, have low self-esteem and miss school."

Obesity costs the NHS £5.1 billion each year - a figure that is projected to almost double by 2050.

Dr Tedstone added: "Children aged five shouldn't have more than 19 grams of sugar per day - that's five cubes - but it's very easy to have more."