Children and young people in Haverhill are being warned of the dangers of having too much sugar by a new healthy eating campaign which has been launched in the town today.
Live Well Suffolk’s latest awareness drive coincides with Nutrition and Hydration Week which is running this week (17-23 March), and aims to help children and their families understand the potential damage a high-sugar diet can have on their health and wellbeing.
The organisation will be working with children to help them identify different types of food and drinks which contain high amounts of sugar. For example, one can of fizzy drink can contain up to eight teaspoons of sugar, while some fat-free yoghurts can contain up to four teaspoons of sugar in just one 150g pot.
Live Well Suffolk dietitian, Heather Osborn, is behind the new campaign.
She said: “Eating too much sugar means we take in more calories than we need which our bodies store as fat, causing us to put on weight and increasing the risk of serious health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, strokes and tooth decay.
“It’s really important that children understand the concept of a healthy diet from an early age and know what foods are good for them and which are bad for them. As well as educating children and their families about foods which contain high amounts of sugar, we will also be encouraging them to make ‘sugar swaps’ and choose healthier alternatives to their favourite snacks and treats.”
To reduce their daily sugar intake, Live Well Suffolk is recommending families to make the following sugar swaps:
· Choose low sugar, diet or sugar-free squash or fizzy drinks, or better still, water
· Enjoy fresh fruit as a healthy snack rather than chocolate, cakes or biscuits
· Buy plain, wholegrain breakfast cereals, rather than ones that are coated with sugar or honey
To accompany its new sugar campaign, Live Well Suffolk will also running a competition in which children are asked to design a poster to warn people of the health risks of eating too much of the white stuff.
The competition is open to primary school children across Suffolk and there are two categories to accommodate both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 pupils.
Prizes will be awarded to the winning school and the winners and runner ups of each category.
Nutrition and Hydration Week is running from 17-23 March and the aim of the day is to illustrate how people can improve their quality of life by making positive changes to eating and drinking habits.
Live Well Suffolk is the county’s free healthy lifestyles service, offering practical support, information and advice on a range of health issues including healthy eating, physical activity and smoking.
Next month the organisation will be launching new children and adult weight management programmes.
For more information on the latest campaign, visit: http://www.livewellsuffolk.org.uk/sugar.
Alternatively, call 01473 229292 to find out more about any of the services that Live Well Suffolk provides.