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A can of cola contains 9 cubes of sugar, for example. (Say what?!)
Worried about how much sugar your family are consuming? Well, now there’s a new app that can detect the sugar content in all your favourite snacks and drinks. ‘Sugar Smart’ works by scanning the barcodes of more than 75,000 products and in turn reveals the amount of sugar present in grams or cubes.
The free app has been designed by Public Health England (PHE) as part of their ‘Change 4 Life’ campaign to combat childhood obesity, Type 2 diabetes, tooth decay and encourage families to consume healthier foods.
According to PHE a child of 4-6 years needs no more than 5 cubes of sugar (19g) maximum per day, a 7-10 year old needs 6 cubes (25g) daily and an eleven-year-old requires just 7 cubes of sugar (30g).
These guidelines come after Public Health England warned that the average five-year-old in the UK currently consumes the equivalent of their body weight in sugar each year – the equivalent of a whopping three and a half stone – and the most lethal culprits are sugary drinks which have ‘no place in a child’s daily diet’ according to information within the app.
PHE revealed that a can of cola contains nine sugar cubes and also urged families people to cut back on juices and smoothies, pointing out that both adults and children should drink no more than a single 150ml glass of fruit juice each day.
Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist from Public Health England, said: ‘If there’s one thing I’d strongly encourage parents to do, and that’s to swap sugary drinks out of their kids’ diets for either a low-sugar drink or water or low-fat milk, which would be a really excellent choice.’ PHE has previously urged the government to introduce a ‘sugar tax’ on unhealthy foods and reduce advertising and marketing around sugar-laden products.
Sugar Smart is available to download on iTunes and Android.