Councils make big push to cut down on sugar

Communities / Mon 12th Jan 2015 at 06:13am

SugarESSEX County Council is joining the call for families to cut down on their sugar intake as part of a new national Change4Life campaign.

According to Public Health England’s latest Health Profile for Essex, 16.7 per cent of Year 6 pupils (2,174) in the county are classified as obese while, as of 2012, 24.5% of adults in Essex were categorised as obese – worse than the average for England.

Essex County Council has already invested heavily in initiatives geared at improving the health of the county’s residents and is now backing Change4Life’s Sugar Swaps campaign, which launched today (January 5).

It is often surprising just how much sugar there is in some of the things our children eat, but a high sugar intake means consuming extra calories which causes fat to build up inside the body. This can later result in problems such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

The new Change4Life campaign is geared at encouraging families to consider how much sugar is in their food and drink and inspiring them to try healthier sugar free or no added sugar alternatives.

Work will take place throughout January to encourage primary school teachers to help pupils make healthier snacks, while Change4Life workshops will also take place at shopping centres across the country.

Cllr Anne Brown, Essex County Council’s cabinet member for Communities and Healthy Living, said: “Unfortunately, too many of us are guilty of not paying close enough attention to the sugar content of our diets. Too much sugar can lead to high levels of stored fat, as well as problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and tooth decay.

“By simply swapping your foods and drinks for no added sugar or sugar free alternatives you can make a huge difference to your family’s health.

“The council is working very hard to improve the health of Essex residents and wholeheartedly supports this campaign.”

More than 250 pre-schools, schools and colleges across Essex are already signed up to Change4Life.

For more information about the campaign and to sign up for a free Sugar Swaps pack, please visit http://www.nhs.uk/change4life/Pages/low-sugar-healthy-snacks.aspx

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