Sugar content must be recorded in teaspoons, LGA says

The Local Government Association (LGA) has called on fizzy drink companies to display the sugar content of their products in teaspoons.

It believes the move would help fight tooth decay and child obesity and is a child-friendly way of enabling children to understand how much sugar they are consuming, where many youngsters are unaware.

The call comes ahead of the government’s forthcoming child obesity strategy, and follows previous research which highlights the significant role which sugar plays in obesity and tooth decay. Official figures show some energy and sports drinks have up to 20 teaspoons of sugar in just a 500 ml can, more than three times the daily recommended allowance for adults.

Councillor Izzi Seccombe, the LGA's community wellbeing spokesperson, maintained that while drink manufacturers had come a long way with regard to sugar reduction, more progress was needed.

She said: “On average it takes just 15 seconds for shoppers to decide on an item, so we need to have a labeling system which provides an instant at-a-glance understanding of sugar content.

“Raising awareness of sugar quantities and giving families a more informed choice is crucial if we are to make a breakthrough in the fight against tooth decay and obesity.”