Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Be Sugar Smart

Parents are being encouraged to get “​Sugar Smart” and take control of their children’s sugar intake.

​The Change4Life campaign follows revelations that children aged four to 10 years old consume the equivalent of 5,500 sugar cubes a year (22kg), which weighs the same as an average five-year-old.

Currently, 22.3 percent of children aged four to five years old are overweight or obese in the South West, as are 30.5 percent of those aged 10 to 11.

This means they are more likely to become obese adults who are more prone to a range of serious health problems, such as heart disease, some cancers and Type 2 diabetes. Nationally, there are now 2.5 million people suffering from Type 2 diabetes, 90 percent of whom are overweight or obese.

A new Sugar Smart app – free to download here​ – has been launched to help parents to see how much sugar there is in everyday food and drink. The app works by scanning the barcode of products and revealing the amount of total sugar it contains in cubes and grams.

Change4Life has created a short film to warn parents about the harm of eating and drinking too much sugar, including becoming overweight and tooth decay.

The film brings to life the excessive amount of sugar consumed by the average child per year – currently three times more than the new maximum recommended daily amount.

The campaign reveals the sugar content of everyday food and drink; a 43g chocolate bar contains six cubes of sugar, a 200ml juice drink contains over five cubes, and there are nine.

Kevin Ellison, deputy director of health and wellbeing for Public Health England South West, said: “Sugar is lurking in everyday food and drink, taking children well over the maximum recommended amount.

We’re encouraging parents across the South West to download the new Sugar Smart app and take control of the amount of sugar their family consumes, to protect them from the health risks of having too much sugar.”