1) 10-year-olds in the UK have consumed 18 years’ worth of sugar!
Children have already exceeded the maximum recommended sugar intake for an 18-year old by the time they reach their tenth birthday, according to Public Health England (PHE). This is based on their total sugar consumption from the age of two. This figure comes as a new Change4Life campaign launches, supporting families to cut back on sugar and to help tackle growing rates of childhood obesity. While children’s sugar intakes have declined slightly in recent years, they are still consuming
around 8 excess sugar cubes each day, equivalent to around 2,800 excess sugar cubes per year.
2) Leicester is the 9th worse place in the UK for child’s tooth decay
Whilst the number of Leicester children with unhealthy teeth remains among the worst in the country things are improving. Figures from Public Health England in 2011 showed that half of all Leicester city 5-year-olds had some form of tooth decay. By 2016 this figure fell to a third of 5-year-olds, so things are moving in the right direction but we still have a long way to go.
3) You can halve your child’s everyday sugar intake with some simple swaps
Change4Life is encouraging them to “make a swap when you next shop”. Making simple everyday swaps can reduce children’s sugar intake from some products (yoghurts, drinks and breakfast cereals) by half – while giving them healthier versions of the foods and drinks they enjoy.
Parents can try swapping:
• a higher-sugar yoghurt (e.g. split-pot) for a lower sugar one, to halve their sugar intake
from 6 cubes of sugar to 3
• a sugary juice drink for a no-added-sugar juice drink, to cut back from 2 cubes to half a cube
• a higher-sugar breakfast cereal (e.g. a frosted or chocolate cereal) for a lower sugar cereal, to cut back from 3 cubes to half a cube per bowl
While some foods and drinks remain high in sugar, many companies have reformulated products such as yoghurts, breakfast cereals and juice drinks, meaning these swaps are a good place for families to start. Making these swaps every day could remove around 2,500 sugar cubes per year
from a child’s diet, but swapping chocolate, puddings, sweets, cakes and pastries for healthier
Sugar amount guidelines
• Adults should have no more than 30g of free sugars a day, (roughly equivalent to 7 sugar cubes).
• Children aged 7 to 10 should have no more than 24g of free sugars a day (6 sugar cubes).
• Children aged 4 to 6 should have no more than 19g of free sugars a day (5 sugar cubes).
There’s no guideline limit for children under the age of 4, but it’s recommended they avoid sugar-sweetened drinks and food with sugar added to it.
Find out more about how our Leicester dentists can help take care of your children’s teeth…