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Free app launched to get parents “sugar smart”

4 January 2016

Image credit: Change4Life

Public Health England (PHE) are encouraging parents to download the new Sugar Smart app, which scans the barcodes of everyday food and drink to reveal its sugar content.

The app forms part of the new Sugar Smart Change4Life campaign, to help families become more sugar aware and offer tips and resources for cutting down their sugar intake.

The campaign was launched after research found that four- to ten-year-olds were consuming over 5,500 sugar cubes per year, or around 22 kg.

The app can be used on over 75,000 everyday products, giving sugar content in cubes and grams.

The campaign has revealed the sugar content for the following everyday foods:

  • Chocolate bar: 6 cubes
  • Small carton or pouch  of juice drink: over 5 cubes
  • Can of cola: 9 cubes

Along with the app, PHE have released an eye-opening video highlighting the health problems associated with high sugar diets in children, including tooth decay, as well as potential problems later in life such as heart disease, some cancers, and type 2 diabetes.

PHE state the following daily maximum sugar intake guidelines:

  • Children aged four to six: 19 g (5 sugar cubes)
  • Children aged seven to ten: 24 g (6 sugar cubes)
  • Children aged 11 or older: 30 g, (7 sugar cubes)

Dr Alison Tedstone, Chief Nutritionist for PHE, said:

“Children are having too much sugar, 3 times the maximum recommended amount. This can lead to painful tooth decay, weight gain and obesity, which can also affect children’s wellbeing as they are more likely to be bullied, have low self-esteem and miss school.

Children aged 5 shouldn’t have more than 19 grams of sugar per day. That’s 5 cubes, but it’s very easy to have more. That’s why we want parents to be ‘Sugar Smart’.

Our easy to use app will help parents see exactly where the sugar in their children’s diet is coming from, so they can make informed choices about what to cut down on.

The free Sugar Smart app can be downloaded from the app store and google play

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