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Children are eating their own weight in sugar

Posted by: Patrick Catanzariti on February 5, 2016

The average British five-year-old eats the equivalent of their own body weight in sugar each year.

That’s a super scary 22kg of sugar. Every year.

Public Health England (PHE) has revealed that 4-to-10 year olds are consuming a whopping three times as much sugar as the recommended daily amount.

One in five 4-5 year olds are overweight or obese. By the time kids are 10-11, this has risen to one in three.

Tooth decay is also a huge problem for British children. It’s the most common reason for 5-9 year olds to be admitted to hospital, and the problem has been linked to excess sugar consumption.

And Australia isn’t much better. A quarter of Aussie kids are overweight or obese. Tooth decay is also rising amongst Australian children. Last year, it was reported that children as young as 18 months were having rotten teeth removed, with ‘soft drinks and high sugar diets’ blamed.

The PHE highlighted how easy it is for kids to consume more sugar than is good for them. The main culprit is soft drinks and fruit juice, which is a major source of added sugar in kids’ diets according to PHE. Added sugar is also often hidden in products such as yoghurts, muesli bars and pre-packaged sauces.

The alarming news has (understandably) triggered calls for a soft drink tax in the UK. It’s also prompted a new Sugar Smart app, which scans barcodes and shows the sugar content of food and drinks.

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