Oral Health Foundation backs Change4Life campaign to reduce childhood sugar consumption

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Leading dental charity, the Oral Health Foundation, has backed Public Health England’s Change4Life campaign in a bid to reduce the number of children consuming too much sugar. Research published recently by PHE revealed that the average child in England consumes the recommended intake of sugar for their entire childhood by the age of 10.

Change4Life is a scheme designed to encourage adults and children to make healthier lifestyle choices, including improving their diet and doing more exercise. A new programme launched by PHE as part of the campaign encourages parents to replace sugary foods and drinks with healthier alternatives and builds on previous initiatives, which have targeted snacking and increasing the amount of fruit and vegetables in the diet.

Dr Nigel Carter OBE, chief executive of the Oral Health Foundation, said that the charity is lending its full support to the Change4Life programme. Research underlines the impact of excessive sugar consumption, with thousands of children undergoing extraction treatment in hospital every year in England, and the charity is keen to get behind any scheme, which educates parents about healthy eating options. Food labelling has improved, but it can still be difficult to make positive choices, especially as some products that are marketed as healthy alternatives still contain a lot of sugar. Shop-bought juices and smoothies, which can contain the same amount of sugar as fizzy drinks, are a good example.

The latest Change4Life campaign is focused on making simple swaps, which can drastically reduce sugar intake. More information is available at www.nhs.co.uk/change4life.

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