LONDON, Jan 4, 2016:
Children as young as five consume the equivalent of their body weight in sugar in a year, according to health officials.
A campaign by Public Health England (PHE) warns that five-year-olds should only be consuming the equivalent of five sugar cubes a day.
Officials have launched a new free app, which reveals how much sugar is in everyday food and drink in a bid to encourage parents to take control of their families’ sugar consumption, according to a report in The Telegraph.
It works by scanning the barcode of products and showing the total sugar in each product in cubes and grams.
Tooth decay, the report further said, had become the most common reason that five-to-nine year olds are admitted to hospital.
An alarming reality is that one in five children is overweight or obese by the age of five – rising to one in three by the age of 11, the report added.
Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at PHE, 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.”
There are now 2.5 million people suffering from Type 2 diabetes, 90% of whom are overweight or obese.
This month the Government is due to publish its strategy on childhood obesity, The Telegraph
Ministers are expected to unveil plans to clamp down on marketing and advertising of unhealthy foods, with restrictions on TV ads during “family viewing” times, and a crackdown on “two for one” deals on junk fare.
Prime Minister David Cameron has so far resisted calls for a “sugar tax” on drinks and foods, despite calls from PHE, celebrity campaigner Jamie Oliver and the Commons health select committee.
Health officials have previously urged families to cut back on fruit juice and smoothies, which are pushing up sugar intake in some families.
PHE have said that a single 150ml glass of fruit juice a day is the most anyone should drink.
Fruit juices and fizzy drinks are the largest source of sugar for children aged between four and 18, the National Diet and Nutrition Survey by Public Health England found.