5 year olds eat and drink their body weight in sugar every year

A newly launched campaign is aimed at encouraging parents to get “Sugar Smart” and take control of their children’s sugar intake.

A new Sugar Smart app has been launched to help parents see 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.

Change4Life has created an eye-opening short film to warn parents about the health harms of eating and drinking too much sugar, including becoming overweight and tooth decay.

In 2013, almost a third (31%) of 5-year-olds and almost half (46%) of 8-year-olds had tooth decay, the most common reason for 5-to 9-year-olds being admitted to hospital.

The film brings to life the excessive amount of sugar consumed by the average child per year, currently 3 times the new maximum recommended daily amount.

The recommended daily maximum added sugar intake is:

  • 19g, that’s 5 sugar cubes for children aged 4 to 6
  • 24g, that’s 6 sugar cubes for children aged 7 to 10
  • 30g, that’s 7 sugar cubes children aged 11 or older

A fifth of 4-to-5-year-olds and a third of 10-to-11-year-olds are overweight or obese.

Overweight children are more likely to become overweight adults making them more prone to a range of serious health problems, such as heart disease, some cancers and Type 2 diabetes.

There are now 2.5 million people in the UK suffering from Type 2 diabetes, 90% of whom are overweight or obese.

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