Health chiefs are inviting families to get ‘Sugar Smart’ when the Change4Life roadshow comes to Wolverhampton this weekend.
Its Sugar Smart campaign is touring the country, visiting 25 shopping centres nationwide.
Families joining the roadshow at the Wulfrun Centre this Saturday and Sunday (27 and 28 February, 2016) will be able to see live demonstrations of the new Sugar Smart app – available at www.nhs.uk/change4life – and get free information packs and ask staff questions about sugar.
The Sugar Smart campaign aims to encourage parents to take control of their children’s sugar intake, following revelations that four-to-10 year olds consume an estimated 5,500 sugar cubes a year – that’s 22kg, or the weight of the average five-year-old.
A typical 43g chocolate bar contains six cubes of sugar, a 200ml juice drink contains over five cubes and there are nine sugar cubes in a can of cola, instantly taking children up to or over their recommended maximum for the day of five cubes for four to six-year-olds, six cubes for seven to 10-year-olds and seven cubes for 11-year-olds.
Councillor Sandra Samuels, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "We're encouraging parents to get Sugar Smart and take control of their children’s sugar intake.
“Eating and drinking too much sugar causes a range of problems, not least tooth decay. Indeed, almost half of eight-year-olds in England have tooth decay, which is the most common reason for children being admitted to hospital.
“Too much sugar also means extra calories, which in turn can lead to stored fat in the body, causing conditions like obesity, heart disease, cancer and Type 2 diabetes. We're already seeing the impact this is having in Wolverhampton, with a quarter of our five-year-olds and over 40% of Year 6 pupils either overweight or obese.
"This free app is an excellent way of creating awareness and enabling families to see just how much sugar is in the food and drink they are buying – and take steps to reduce the amount they consume on a daily basis."
David Elliott, Public Health England West Midlands Health and Wellbeing Team lead on obesity, said: “The most recent information from the child obesity figures for the West Midlands highlights the importance for families to cut back on sugar in the diet.
“Sugar is lurking in everyday food and drink, taking children well over the maximum recommended amount. We’re encouraging parents in Wolverhampton to download the new Sugar Smart app and be better informed about the amount of sugar their family consumes, and so protect them from the health risks of having too much sugar.”
The Sugar Smart app has been launched to help parents see how much sugar is contained in everyday food and drink. It works by scanning barcodes to reveal the total sugar in food and drink in cubes or grams.
Please click www.nhs.uk/change4life to download the new free app and get hints and tips on cutting down on sugar.