Cambridgeshire County Council aims to tackle Fenland’s youth obesity issue by backing sugar-slashing campaign
PUBLISHED: 17:17 08 January 2016 | UPDATED: 17:17 08 January 2016
Cambridgeshire County Council is hoping to slash the amount of sugar consumed by Fenland’s youngsters by backing a new Sugar Smart campaign.
The nationwide campaign is aiming to reduce the amount of sugar children eat after it was revealed that they consume over 5,500 sugar cubes every year - which weigh the same as an average five-year-old.
In Fenland, nearly one tenth of four to five-year-olds are obese, increasing to nearly one in five of 10 to 11-year-olds. Childhood obesity in Fenland is above the average for the county, and in four to five-year-olds it is also higher than the English average.
Local health experts are backing the Sugar Smart campaign to highlight the role sugar plays in children’s health and the importance of lowering the amount they eat to help reduce obesity and related health problems.
Children are having three times the maximum recommended amount of sugar, and obese children are more likely to become obese adults with an increased risk of type-2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.
Tooth decay is another serious problem associated with high sugar intakes, with approximately 28 per cent of children in England suffering from tooth decay by the age of five.
Val Thomas, Consultant in Public Health at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “We’re backing the Sugar Smart campaign because it’s important for people to make a link between sugar, obesity and the increased risk of type-2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. These figures really do emphasise the large amounts of sugar children and young people are now eating, which are present in many of the foods we eat day to day. However making some simple food and drink swaps can reduce the amount of sugar a family eats and I’d encourage families to sign up to the Sugar Smart campaign for advice and support.”
Cambridgeshire County Council Public Health team are supporting the Change4Life Sugar Smart campaign. Families can also join in online by searching Change4Life and downloading the new free app. People can also follow the campaign locally via Cambridgeshire County Council’s Facebook page and Twitter feed.