Children have consumed the maximum recommended sugar intake for an 18-year-old by the time they reach the age of 10, according to Public Health England (PHE).
According to the organisation’s research, 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 2800 excess sugar cubes per year.
‘Children are consuming too much sugar, but parents can take action now to prevent this building up over the years,’ said Dr Alison Tedstone, Chief Nutritionist at PHE. ‘To make this easier for busy families, Change4Life is offering a straightforward solution – by making simple swaps each day, children can have healthier versions of everyday foods and drinks, while significantly reducing their sugar intake.’
According to PHE, severe obesity in 10 to 11 year olds has reached an all-time high. Additionally, overweight or obese children are more likely to be overweight or obese as adults, increasing their risk of heart disease and some cancers, while more young people than ever are developing Type 2 diabetes.
With a third of children leaving primary school overweight or obese, tackling obesity requires wider action and is not just limited to individual efforts from parents. PHE have said that they are working with the food industry to remove 20% of sugar from the products contributing the most to children’s sugar intakes by 2020.