The government has launched new guidelines for the food industry in a bid to slash the amount of sugar children are consuming on a daily basis.
The guidance recommends limiting sugar in foods such as biscuits, breakfast cereals and yogurt.
It is also encouraging us to choose lower of no added sugar products, wants to see the reformulation of foods to lower sugar content and is calling on companies to reduce the portion size in single-serve products so that they are not as calorific.
Duncan Selbie, Chief Executive of Public Health England, says: ‘We can’t duck the fact a third of children are leaving primary school overweight or obese and obesity generally is having a profound effect, not just on the costs for the health service, but on the overall health of the nation.’
But it’s not just obesity that is a worrying trend.
Earlier this month, the Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons, reported a rise of 24% in a decade of children having their baby teeth removed – and dentists blame tooth decay linked to sugary diets.
However, a whopping 90% of tooth decay is preventable – with reducing sugar consumption as well as brushing with fluoride toothpaste for two minutes twice a day and regular dental trips.
According to a survey by the Oral Health Foundation, almost half of parents would prefer to give their children to go sugar free as a healthier alternative to sugar-laden sweets and food but pester power rules when we’re standing at the checkout, right? Children DO have a knack of asking when our will is at its weakest…
She says: ‘She says: ‘It’s a sorry state of affairs that there are still a large number of children who continue to be affected by poor dental health. This can affect their lives terribly – many, many children live with undiagnosed chronic pain, are at risk of infection and require dental intervention. Imagine your child not wanting to smile or laugh because they are ashamed of their teeth or even struggling to eat
‘As well as addressing the problem of the amount of sweet stuff we have in our diets, these new stories serve as a timely reminder to parents everywhere to get children into good dental health habits, too.
‘So, as schools break up for the Easter holidays, why not set aside some time to book a dental appointment for them (and you) and dedicate your efforts to improving your whole family’s dental health care. Here are my top tips of how best to nurture your children’s teeth…
A ‘sugar smart app’ has been developed by Public Health England and is available to download free of charge. By scanning the barcode of packaged foods it shows the total sugar in both cubes and grams.
Ask our Expert Melonie Prebble a question