Parents are being encouraged to sign up for a free app which tells them the sugar content of food and drink.
According to the BBC the “sugar smart app”, from Public Health England, works by scanning barcodes and revealing total sugar in cubes or grams.
Officials hope it will help combat tooth decay, obesity and type two diabetes and encourage families to choose healthier alternatives.
PHE says young children are eating three times more than the sugar limit.
Its new campaign which includes the sugar app, suggests that on average children aged four to ten years old are consuming 22 kilogramme of added sugar a year.
That’s about 5,500 sugar cubes – more than the weight of an average five-year-old child.
The app has been developed to raise awareness of how much sugar is contained in everyday food and drink.
Reports say it works on more than 75,000 products, offering a quick guide to help parents to assess potential purchases that may harm their children’s health.
- a can of cola has nine cubes of sugar
- a chocolate bar has six cubes of sugar
- a small carton of juice has more than five cubes of sugar.
According to the chief nutritionist from Public Health England, Dr Alison Tedstone, children are having too much sugar in their diets and this is leading to painful tooth decay, weight gain and the potential for serious health problems in later life.
She also said people might be surprised to discover the sugar contents, for example, of some yogurts and fruit drinks.
Parents are however encouraged to swap sugary drinks out of their kids’ diets for either a low-sugar drink or water or low-fat milk, moreso as this is seen as an excellent choice.
Daily recommended sugar limits
- Four to six year olds – five sugar cubes or 19 grammes is okay
- Seven to ten year olds – six sugar cubes or 24 grammes is ideal
- 11 year olds and above – seven sugar cubes or 30 grammes is perfect!