Over the past couple of years sugar has become known as the villain when it comes to eating healthily, and the worst thing is that it seems to be in everything, especially in diet food where fat has been taken out and has been replaced by either sugar or sweeteners.
A new campaign has been released this week by the Government to help parents cut sugar out of their children’s lives. According to the Government’s Change4life campaign 4-10 year olds consume over 5,500 sugar cubes per year, which equates to 22kg - shocking news as this is the average weight of a 5 year old.
Recently the government has tried to simplify the contents of sugar and fat on packaging in supermarkets, but it’s still very confusing, so a new free app has been launched to help parents see how much sugar there is in everyday food and drink. All you need to do is to scan the bar code of a product and it will show you how much sugar is contained in that product.
They have also produced a video highlighting the effects of too much sugar, such as tooth decay and a build up of fat inside the body, that could lead to obesity and type 2 diabetes later on in your child’s life.
Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist for Public Health England, stated:
‘Children are having too much sugar, 3 times the maximum recommended amount. This can lead to painful tooth decay, weight gain and obesity, which can also affect children’s wellbeing as they are more likely to be bullied, have low self-esteem and miss school.’
If you are wondering what the recommended amount of sugar is, here is a daily maximum guide:
- 19g, that’s 5 sugar cubes for children aged 4 to 6
- 24g, that’s 6 sugar cubes for children aged 7 to 10
- 30g, that’s 7 sugar cubes children aged 11 or older
However it’s still unsure whether any sugar is good for us, so the best advice is to try and cut down sugar as much as possible, the best way to do this is to encourage your child to get sugar from natural sources such as fruit.