Parents are being encouraged to sign up for a free app which tells them the sugar content of food and drink. The new ‘Sugar Smart’ app from Public Health England works by scanning the barcode of products to show the total sugar content in cubes or grams, aiming to help parents take control of their children’s sugar intake. Being overweight as a child also increases the chance of the individual being overweight as an adult, putting them at risk of serious health problems including Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.
Dr Alison Tedstone, Chief Nutritionist for Public Health England, explained, “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. That’s why we want parents to be ‘Sugar Smart’.”
As the ‘Sugar Smart’ app launches, Diabetes UK has highlighted the urgent need for the Government to put a number of measures in place to help tackle the national obesity crisis. Chris Askew, Diabetes UK Chief Executive, commented, “Diets that are high in sugar are fuelling the rise in obesity, and in turn the dramatic rise in Type 2 diabetes, a serious health condition that can lead to devastating complications. With the average child consuming three times the recommended daily amount of sugar, the need for action has never been more urgent.”
Although supporting the app, Askew feels it’s not enough, and went on to say, “The app alone is not enough to achieve the reduction in sugar intake we need to see across the population. We need to see the Government act on recommendations made by Public Health England, including restricting marketing of unhealthy foods to children, reducing and rebalancing the number of price promotions offered on unhealthy foods, implementing a clear and transparent programme for reformulating unhealthy foods and reducing portion sizes. It must also introduce a sugar tax on soft drinks to reduce consumption. People also need to be supported to undertake regular physical activity and supported to choose healthier foods, including through a clear and consistent food labelling system.”
This news item first appeared in Desang Diabetes Magazine, our free-to-receive digital journal. We cover diabetes news, diabetes management equipment (diabetes kit) and news about food suitable for a diabetic diet. Go to the top of this page to sign up – we just need your email address.