The average 10-year-old has consumed as much sugar in their lifetime as the recommended limit for an 18-year-old, according to Public Health England (PHE), which is warning of serious implications for obesity and health.
Children are consuming the equivalent of eight excess sugar cubes a day, or 2,800 a year, says PHE, which has launched a new healthy eating campaign under its Change4Life scheme. National guidance recommends no more than five or six sugar cubes (20g-24g) a day for children aged four to 10.
One-third of children are overweight or obese at the age of 10 and 4.2% are severely obese in year six at school. Obese children often become obese adults, at risk of heart attacks, strokes and type 2 diabetes.
The healthy eating campaign will urge parents to cut the amount of sugar in their families’ diet by switching to lower-sugar drinks, cereals and yoghurts. PHE attempts to persuade the food industry to reformulate the products available in supermarkets have had limited success.