Supported by Public Health Suffolk, the Change4Life campaign follows revelations that 4-10 year olds consume an estimated 5,500 sugar cubes a year (22kg), weighing the same as an average five-year-old.
Currently 20.9% of four to five-year-olds in Suffolk are overweight or obese, increasing to 31.8% in 10 to 11-year-olds. This means they are more likely to become obese adults who are more prone to a range of serious health problems, including heart disease, some cancers and Type 2 diabetes. These latest figures forSuffolk highlight 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.
To help parents take control, a new Sugar Smart app has been launched to help show how much sugar there is in everyday food and drink. The free app works by scanning the barcode of products and revealing the amount of total sugar it contains in cubes and grams. The county council is encouraging all parents across the county to download the app, to help protect their families from the health risks of consuming too much sugar.
The Change4Life Sugar Smart app can be downloaded free of charge via the App Store or Google Play. The ‘Change4Life’ website also offers lots of free support, tips, ideas and recipes.
Change4Life has also created a short film, which warns parents about the health harms of eating and drinking too much sugar, including becoming overweight and tooth decay. The film can be found on the Public Health Suffolk YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/Tk05krUxjr4
In addition to the video, five million Sugar Smart packs will be given away to primary school children and their families via schools and retailer. There will be 25 Change4Life Sugar Smart roadshows, taking place across the country from January to March.
Singer and TV presenter Jamelia is supporting the national campaign and will be starring in a series of Sugar Smart films starting in January.