Public Health England issues sugar warning, as children set to consume twice the recommended amount this year

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Public Health England has issued a warning over sugar consumption, as it is estimated that a large proportion of children in England will have already consumed their annual recommended intake. According to the body, many children have already consumed the recommended yearly intake of sugar, despite that fact that we’re only halfway through the year.

Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at PHE, said that we’re only just halfway through the year, but many children have already exceeded the sugar intake expected for a 12-month period. Excessive sugar consumption is linked to an elevated risk of childhood obesity, as well as decay, which is the leading cause of hospital admissions among children in the UK. Dr Tedstone said that children are consuming too much sugar, often without really even realising, due to the high sugar content of snacks and drinks.

Guidelines encourage a maximum daily intake of 5-6 sugar cubes, but research suggests that many children are consuming an average of 13 cubes per day.

In recent months, there has been a lot of media attention on sugar consumption as a result of the introduction of the sugar levy. However, research suggests that drinks make up around 10 percent of the average child’s sugar intake. Other leading contributors include biscuits, cakes, spreads and jams, flavoured yoghurts, chocolate and breakfast cereals.

To reduce sugar consumption, PHE recommends swapping juices and fizzy drinks for water and sugar-free cordial and replacing chocolate bars and sweet snacks with wholemeal toast, rice cakes and malt loaf.

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