LIFESTYLE

Children Consuming Bodyweight In Sugar Each Year Prompts Relaunch Of 'Sugar Smart' App

04/01/2016 10:29 GMT | Updated 04/01/2016 15:59 GMT

Children are consuming their bodyweight in sugar each year, according to startling new statistics revealed by Public Health England (PHE).

The governing health body found that children aged between four and 10 eat around 22kg of sugar every year. That's the average weight of a five-year-old.

Our nation's sweet tooth combined with a growing obesity epidemic has prompted PHE to launch a new 'Change4Life' advertising campaign to coincide with its phone app, which reveals just how many cubes of sugar are in everyday food items.

The aim is to encourage families to shop smarter and eat better, to protect them from obesity and diabetes.

sugar smart app

The 'Change4Life' campaign encourages adults and children alike to "eat well, move more and live longer" by promoting active lifestyles and healthy eating.

It first launched in 2009, however a new advertising push for January 2016 sees its efforts being focused on reducing sugar consumption with the revival of its 'Sugar Smart' app.

The free app lets users scan the barcodes of more than 75,000 products and reveals how much sugar they contain in either grams or cubes.

For example, one can of Coca Cola contains the equivalent of nine cubes of sugar. Meanwhile a standard chocolate bar contains roughly six cubes of sugar.

While the focus is on curbing sugar intake among children, it is also a useful app for adults to help reduce the amount of sugar they consume on a daily basis.

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PHE chief nutritionist Dr Alison Tedstone said: "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."

Meanwhile, according to PHE guidelines, children aged 7-10 years shouldn’t have more than 24 grams of added sugar per day (six cubes - the equivalent of one chocolate bar), and those aged 11 and over shouldn't have more than 30 grams of added sugar per day (seven cubes).

Health experts hope that the app will encourage families to make healthier food choices when they're out shopping.

They believe it will help tackle the increasing burden of obesity, which costs the NHS £5.1 billion each year - a figure that is projected to almost double by 2050.

Download the 'Change4Life' app here.

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