Crawley families told: ‘Swap fizzy drinks and milkshakes for water’

Cllr Chris Mullins
Cllr Chris Mullins

Crawley Borough Council’s Wellbeing Team is supporting Change4Life’s campaign to encourage families to ‘make a swap when you next shop’ to help them cut back on sugar.

Research has shown that children are having about 2,800 sugar cubes more than they should each year- more than double the maximum recommended amount.

A council spokesman said: “Too much sugar can lead to the build-up of harmful fat on the inside that we can’t see. This fat can cause painful tooth decay, weight gain and serious diseases like type 2 diabetes, which more and more of our young people are getting.”

Most of the sugar children are having comes from sugary drinks, confectionery, biscuits, cakes, desserts, higher-sugar breakfast cereals and higher-sugar yoghurts.

Change4Life is showing families how they can cut back on sugar by making a few swaps to their everyday food and drinks.

Top tips include:

1 - Swap frosted flakes and chocolate cereal for wheat biscuit cereals, porridge or wholegrain cereals

2 - Swap fizzy drinks and milkshakes for water, low fat milk, sugar-free or no added sugar drinks

3 - Swap split pot yoghurts and high sugar yoghurts for fromage frais, plain natural yoghurt or low sugar yoghurts

4 - Swap cake bars, chocolate pudding pots, doughnuts and muffins for sugar free jelly, fresh or tinned fruit (in juice), low sugar rice pudding or custard.

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The spokesman added: “Parents and carers will be able to make healthier choices while they shop in store and online, with the help of new Change4Life ‘good choice’ label on products, the free Change4Life Food Scanner app which breaks down the nutritional content of the food you’re buying.”

Primary school age children will receive a free take-home pack from school. It takes children on an ‘Adventure in Sugar Smart World’ and features games and stickers to get children to spot the higher-sugar food and drinks and choose healthier swaps. It also provides easy tips on everyday sugar swaps for the whole family.

Councillor Chris Mullins, Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, said: “Making simple changes can make a dramatic difference to family’s sugar intake, reducing the risk of diabetes and tooth decay. It’s important that we are vigilant about what we eat and encourage healthy habits while our children are young. I would encourage all local families to take part in the fun and games the campaign has to offer and see what a difference it can make.”

For more information and advice about making sugar swaps, visit www.change4life.co.uk or for information and advice about general wellbeing, visit crawley.westsussexwellbeing.org.uk