London: Children between the ages of four and 10 years consume 22 kilogrammes of sugar every year, an amount
equivalent to the average weight of a five-year old, according to a public health campaign in the UK.
The campaign, which urges parents to take care of their offspring’s diet, warns that obesity and tooth decay are among the consequences of children consuming three times as much sugar as they should.
The 22 kilogrammes is equivalent to 5,500 sugar cubes. The main culprits of sugar are soft drinks, biscuits, buns, cakes, breakfast cereals, confectionery, fruit juices, pastries and puddings.
“Children are having too much sugar. This can lead to painful tooth decay, weight gain and obesity, which can also affect children’s wellbeing as they are more likely to be bullied, have low self-esteem and miss school,” said Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist for Public Health England.
As part of its “Sugar Smart campaign”, Change4Life, a public health programme in the UK, has launched a free app
that allows people to scan the barcode of a product to show the amount of sugar it contains in cubes and grammes, ‘The Guardian’ reported.
“Children aged five shouldn’t have more than 19 grammes of sugar per day – that is five cubes, but it is very easy to
have more. Our easy-to-use app will help parents see exactly where the sugar in their children’s diet is coming from, so they can make informed choices about what to cut down on,” Alison added.
The maximum added sugar intake for seven to 10-year-olds is 24 grammes (six sugar cubes) and for anyone aged 11 or older, it is 30 grammes (seven sugar cubes).