New drive to cut the amount of sugar Welsh children eat and drink
A new drive to help families across Wales cut back on the amount of sugar they eat each week has been launched yesterday.
The Change4Life Sugar Swap campaign is aimed at families with children aged four to 11 and offers tips on how to replace sugary foods with healthier options. These include swapping ice cream with sugar free jelly or yogurt, or cakes with wholemeal biscuits.
Families can sign-up for a free Sugar Swaps pack to help them get started and get advice on how to change their eating habits for the better.
Medical advice is that no more than 10% of a person’s daily calorie intake should by made up of sugar, which is the equivalent of 11 to 14 level teaspoons of sugar a day. A can of fizzy drink can contain nine teaspoons of sugar, with up to 40 teaspoons in a two-litre bottle.
The latest figures show 40% of seven to 11-year-olds in Wales are obese or overweight.
Sugar consumption among many people is currently too high, with figures showing:
- Children aged four to 10-years-old are the second biggest consumers of sugar, getting 14.7% of their energy from sugar
- Children aged 11 to 18 get 15.4% of their energy from sugar and adults 11.5%.
For younger children, soft drinks, confectionery and fruit juice are the major sources of sugar in the diet.
Chief Medical Officer for Wales Dr Ruth Hussey said:
“People across Wales are eating too much sugar. It’s surprising how much sugar there is in some of the food and drink we give our children and these eating habits can have a huge impact on their health.
“From cereal in the morning through to puddings in the evening, not to mention the sugary drinks and snacks, it all adds up. Too much sugar can mean our children facing a life of bad health, from obesity, type 2 diabetes through to dental problems.
“With the Sugar Swaps campaign we are helping families take small steps to make a huge difference to the lives of their children.”
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