New app helps parents to get Sugar Smart

Published on: Thursday, 14-January-2016

Knowsley Council is backing a new, national campaign encouraging parents to get “Sugar Smart” and take control of their children’s sugar intake.

The Change4Life campaign from Public Health England follows revelations that four-to-10 year olds consume an estimated 5,500 sugar cubes a year (22kg), weighing the same as an average five-year-old. Meanwhile, latest figures show 13.6% of four to five-year-olds are overweight or obese in the North West.

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

Children aged five shouldn’t have more than 19 grams of sugar per day – that’s five cubes, but it’s very easy to have more. For instance, did you know:

  • a 43g chocolate bar contains six cubes of sugar
  • a 200ml juice drink contains over five cubes
  • there are nine sugar cubes in a can of cola

all of which instantly take children up to or over their recommended maximum for the day.

Cllr Eddie Connor, Knowsley Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing said:

“The campaign aims to highlight for families the importance of cutting back on sugar. We’re encouraging parents in Knowsley to download the new Sugar Smart app to help them make healthier choices when food shopping and control the amount of sugar their family consumes, to protect them from the health risks of having too much sugar.”

Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist for Public Health England, said:

“Children are having too much sugar, three 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 five shouldn’t have more than 19 grams of sugar per day – that’s five 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.”

Search Change4Life to download the Sugar Smart app and for lots of free support, tips, ideas and recipes.