Children on track to consume double recommended sugar intake

New figures from Public Health England (PHE) have revealed that children in England have already consumed more than a year’s worth of sugar since January.

The stats shows that children aged four to 10 years are consuming on average 13 cubes of sugar each day despite the recommended limit being no more than the equivalent of five cubes. Projected over the rest of 2018, it is likely children will consume around 4,800 cubes of sugar by the end of the year, which is also more than double the maximum recommendation.

Sugary soft drinks remain one of the main contributors of free sugars to children’s diets, with cakes and pastries, biscuits and breakfast cereals also noted as prominent contributors.

It is well documented that too much sugar can lead to weight gain, obesity and tooth decay, with recent reports claiming that a third of children leave primary school overweight or obese, while around a quarter of five-year-olds suffer from painful tooth decay.

Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at PHE, said: “We’re barely halfway through the year and already children have consumed far more sugar than is healthy – it’s no surprise this is contributing to an obesity crisis. Snacks and drinks are adding unnecessary sugar to children’s diets without us even noticing. Swapping to lower or no added sugar alternatives is something all parents can work towards.”

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