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Children are doubling up on sugar

Published: 28 January 2019

Sugar swap for healthier snacks

Do you know how much sugar is in the food and drink your children have each day? Latest research* shows that children in England are having more than double the maximum recommended amount of sugar each year. Children aged four to ten years should have no more than the equivalent of five to six cubes of sugar each day, but are consuming on average 13 cubes. This can have harmful effects on a child's health, causing obesity and serious problems such as heart disease, strokes, type two diabetes and dental decay in later life.

Small changes can make a big difference

So what are the main culprits? Most of the sugar children have comes from sugary drinks, confectionery, biscuits, cakes, high-sugar breakfast cereals and high-sugar yoghurts. Swapping to healthier options can help reduce your child's daily sugar intake.

Fruit and vegetables, fruited malt loaf, low-sugar fromage frais, popcorn, hummus or rice cakes are a great start to making a healthier swap. A helpful reminder when food shopping is the Change4Life tip 'Make a swap when you next shop'.

Easy tips and ideas to get you swapping

Change4Life has easy tips and meal ideas to support and motivate your family to cut back on sugar and maintain a healthy diet. You can also download the 'Food Scanner' app to find out what's really inside the everyday food and drink you give your children.

Concerned about your child's weight?

Alive 'n' Kicking is a local service for children aged between five and nineteen years old. The programme helps families enjoy a healthier lifestyle with activity sessions, the chance to learn more about healthy eating and nutrition, food preparation sessions and information on how to shop healthier and more. Visit the Healthy Surrey website for more information.

*Public Health England figures.

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