Today, Change4Life, the government’s biggest obesity-tackling initiative, will be launching a new campaign to encourage parents to get Sugar Smart with a free app! This is following revelations that four to ten year olds consume over 5,500 sugar cubes each year – which is the average weight of a five year old.
They hope through this campaign, it will educate both parents and children in avoiding lots of the ‘hidden sugars’ found in foods that are commonly available and enjoyed by children, so that they can make healthier choices as a family.
The FREE Sugar Smart app is available for download from the App Store and Google Play. The app works by scanning product barcodes of over 75,000 everyday food or drink products and shows the total sugar in each product in cubes and grams.
Did you know how much is too much? The maximum daily amounts of added sugar for a 4 to 6 year old is 19 grams; 7 to 10 year old is 24 grams: 11 plus is 30 grams. Did you know that currently the average child per year consumes three times more than they should? This can lead to painful tooth decay, weight gain and obesity and many more health problems in adult life.
We downloaded the app during the Christmas period and have been monitoring our sugar intake. It is simple to set up by allowing it access to your camera. By scanning through some of our favourite products, it didn’t surprise us that we have consumed way too much sugary food and snacks! A bag of Cadbury Dairy Milk giant buttons has 56 grams of sugar in it!
So we decided to make some sugar swaps and have smaller portions each time! Both my children dislike dried fruits, so we decided to increase fresh fruits into our breakfast, like bananas in cereals, trying out mangos, persimmons and cherry tomatoes with toast etc. It is not easy to make the changes but if we do it frequently, soon we will get used to it. I have already incorporated vegetables into my cake which they took to quite well as they didn’t even notice it. This app is very interesting and fun to use. Although there are over 75,000 products, some seasonal products like a Christmas special chocolate milk box might not have the calculation. So use it sensibly!
The Change4Life Sugar Smart campaign will launch with television, digital and outdoor advertising, and updated web content from today across England. Five million Sugar Smart packs will be given away to primary age children and their families via schools, local authorities and retailers. A nationwide roadshow will take place across 25 locations from 18th January. Five major supermarkets have also pledged to support the campaign through educating and helping customers make healthier food choices when shopping. Do look out for practical tips for parents on how to eat less sugar featuring Jamelia and Amanda Ursell on Sugar Smart films!
Disclosure: We will receive shopping vouchers for the purposes of writing this review however all thoughts and opinions remain our own. Images used with permission.