A new Government health campaign is urging parents to cut back the amount of sugar they feed children in an effort to improve their health both now and in the future.

Public Health England (PHE) is encouraging parents to swap sugary foods for healthier alternatives with the aim that sugar should account for 10% of a person’s calorie intake – although the Government would like to see this reduced to 5%.  Currently officials fear that children between the ages of 4 and 10 are consuming far more than this.

To put this into context the 5% daily sugar limit for women would be 5-6 teaspoons and 7-8 teaspoons for men, based on the average diet.

A typical can of fizzy drink contains about nine teaspoons of sugar.

Sugar rich diets can lead to obesity which is a cause of heart disease, some cancers and Type ll diabetes.  However, it also causes tooth decay which is now one of the most common reasons for childhood hospital admissions.

During 2013/2014 more than one in five children in reception classes were classified as overweight or obese with further figures suggesting that over a third of year 6 pupils suffered the same condition.

At the end of last year I wrote a blog on the Danish approach to reducing childhood obesity which contains some useful information on ‘food swops’ to introduce to the family’s diet – find a link to this article at the bottom of the page.

PHE worked with NetMums and the University of Reading to advise 50 families on sugar swaps and found on average their sugar intake was reduced by 40% over the period of a month.

At the end of last year I wrote a blog on the Danish approach to reducing childhood obesity which contains some useful information on ‘food swops’ to introduce to the family’s diet – follow this link here:

http://www.lucksyardclinic.com/20-tips-to-tackle-childhood-obesity/

Parents can apply to Change4Health online to get a free ‘sugar swops’ pack.  However, they do suggest swopping fizzy drinks for the the ‘lo-cal’ or sugar free versions which is not something I would recommend as zero calories drinks should be avoided.

However you may find some useful information to start you off – click here to apply for one:

https://sugarswaps.change4life.co.uk/