This week, Telecare Choice are leading the Liverpool Telecare industry charge in backing the campaign to name and shame fizzy drink brands. Liverpool city council are the first council in Britain to name high sugar drinks brands in an attempt to beat tooth decay and obesity levels.
As grandparents and parents, we all enjoy indulging our little ones in a sweet snack now and again but we are often guilty of allowing children to eat too much sugar due to a lack of awareness about the serious health implications. We also have little knowledge about exactly how much sugar children should eat so, as well as exposing sugary drinks, Liverpool council’s campaign includes how much sugar each age group of children should consume.
Liverpool council tackle weight issues
In the UK nearly a third of children aged 2-15 are overweight and obese and Liverpool has one of the UK’s highest rate for child obesity and tooth decay. Health officials in the city hope that by drawing attention to what they feel is one of the biggest factors will help to control the situation.
It is estimated that the ‘average child consumes more than their body weight in sugar every single year’ which is a total of 5,543 cubes. This is over twice as much sugar as the average 11 year old is recommended to eat.
The hard hitting campaign has drawn attention to drinks that many of us would consider ‘healthy’ options such as fruit juices and flavoured water.
The number of sugar cubes in popular drinks:
Lucozade Orange (500ml): 15.5
Coca-Cola (500ml): 13.5
Frijj chocolate milkshake (471ml): 12.7
Capri-sun (330ml): 8.25
Tropicana orange juice (300ml): 7.5
Ribena (288ml): 7.25
Volvic flavoured water (500ml): 5.75
Tap water: 0
Maximum daily allowance of sugar:
4-6 years – 5 sugar cubes
7-10 years – 6 sugar cubes
11+ – 7 sugar cubes
Telecare Choice, Telecare alarm provider, feel that these facts are important for adults to be aware of for their own health as well as for the younger members of their family. Whilst an adult’s recommended sugar intake is higher, some drinks are so high in sugar that they leave little room for healthier, naturally occurring sugars.
Reading the label
Many of us do not check food and drink labels and even when we do we’re not quite sure what they mean. The formatting is often confusing and recommended daily allowances differ from person to person and between age groups.
Most pre-packaged food will display some nutritional information on the front of the item. These are colour coded in a traffic light system and experts recommend that we opt for items with mostly green and some amber on the label as these will always be the healthiest options. Items with mostly or all red nutritional values should only be consumed as treats.
These nutritional values usually apply to adults over the age of 18 so these will not be accurate for children, teenagers or elderly people so should be adjusted accordingly. If you are unsure about your recommended intake of sugar please consult your doctor or a nutritionist.
The below tips, adapted by Telecare Choice from Liverpool council, are great guidelines for everyone when it comes to sugar, not just for children. Adopting these habits will assist weight loss and improve your teeth. If these habits are instilled in children from an early age they will stay healthier as adults, reducing the chances of illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes.
? Keep sugary drinks and treats to dinnertime. This is the best way to slowly lower the amount of sugar that children (and you!) eat
? Encourage your child to drink only water and milk between meals
? Always check labels for sugar content
? Brush yours and your child/grandchild’s teeth at least twice a day
? Take your child to the dentist at least from the age of one