Lewisham Children & Family Centre

It’s Sugar Awareness Week!

What are the effects of too much sugar?

graphic of a blue body showing fat and sugar in a body

Too much sugar is bad for children’s health as it can lead to the build-up of harmful fat on the inside that we can’t see. This fat can cause weight gain and serious diseases like type 2 diabetes, which people are getting younger than ever before, and heart disease and some cancers. It can also lead to painful tooth decay and every 10 minutes, a child in England has a tooth removed in hospital.

 

How much sugar should my child be eating?  

It can be really difficult to know what “the right” level of sugar is. A cube of sugar is 4g of sugar so just less than a teaspoon. This table shows just how easy it can be for your child to have too much.

plasticine models holding up signs showing sugar levels for children l and a phone with an app displayed

 

How do I know how much sugar my child is eating?

plasticine model a magnifying glass showing sugar level of a yoghurt

Even very small children can be eating far more sugar than we think, even when we give them what we feel are healthy snacks such as fruit juice and flavoured yoghurts. Try the Change4Life  sugar calculator to see where sugar can be building up in your child’s diet.

 

Download the FREE Change4Life Foodscanner App to Stay Sugar Smart

bright plasticine models holding up a box of sugary cereal and a phone with an app displayed

 

Scanning foods in supermarkets is a really easy way to find out more about the items we are buying. Simply scan barcodes using the app to find out what’s inside your family favourites – you may be shocked! Sugar can be hiding in things we don’t think of as sweet such as cooking sauces, cereals and dairy products. Why not try a supermarket challenge? Children will love getting involved with this and it can help you show just how much sugar is in some of their favourite, cereals, snacks or drinks. Ask your child to scan one of their favourite sugary snacks or drinks and challenge them to find a lower sugar alternative.  It’s a great way to involve your whole family in cutting down.

There are lots of fun and useful resources on the Change4Life website:

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