Children are eating more sugar than ever, up to 18 years’ worth of the sweet stuff before they reach the age of 10 according to new statistics from Public Health England.
Children are eating almost double the recommended daily guidance of sugar set by health experts, and this is having a severe consequence on health, as 43.1% of 10-11 year olds in Sandwell and West Birmingham are overweight or obese.
Having a high sugar diet contributes to more than just the waistline. Sugar is one of the main causes of tooth decay and increases the risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease in the future. Every 10 minutes a child in England is having a tooth removed in hospital.
Dr Nick Harding, Chair of NHS Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG, said:
“Changing the eating habits of children can be challenging, but simple sugar swaps can drastically cut back on the excess sugar children are eating.
“Take time to read the food and drink labels as cutting back on sugar can be as simple as changing from a chocolate or frosted coated cereal to a shredded wholegrain cereal or replacing a higher sugar drink for low fat milk or no added sugar drinks.
“If we cut back the sugar now before our children become young adults we are setting them up for a healthier, happier future.”
For sugar swapping ideas visit the Change 4 Life website: https://www.nhs.uk/change4life/food-facts/sugar/sugar-swaps-for-kids#sugar-swap-tips
For more information about the effects of sugar on our health visit: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/how-does-sugar-in-our-diet-affect-our-health/