Sugar Awareness Week 2018
This week all across the UK has been Sugar Awareness Week. The week is set up by Action On Sugar, who aim to celebrate the success of the food industry, government and NGOs' progress so far, and discuss the future for sugar and calorie reduction and its place in the government’s Childhood Obesity Plan. The success in raising awareness of the harm that sugar can do to the body is shown by the fact that sugar has recently overtaken price as the primary concern for shoppers in the UK. Sugar has also been linked closely to childhood obesity – a problem that continues to grow in the UK – with the government and Public Health England now producing genuine legislation to tackle the problem, such as the Sugar Tax.
Relating to childhood obesity The Local Government Association (LGA) has stated that obese children risked having their adult life cut short by a host of health problems related to childhood obesity, including; diabetes, cancer and heart disease. The LGA stated that “today's obese children will become tomorrow's obese adults” and that urgent joint action needs to be taken to prevent the situation from exacerbating. Simon Capewell, a professor in public health and policy at Liverpool University is quoted as saying “We have completely adopted the American lifestyle with the inevitable consequences… This is a preventable catastrophe”. – This is why Sugar Awareness Week is so important.
The theme of this year’s week is ‘Eating out’. We as a nation love to eat out in cafés and restaurants and Action On Sugar feel “it is disgraceful that many do not have nutrition information available at point of choice. It is even more shocking that when there is, it reveals unnecessarily high levels of sugar and calories.” Action on Sugar want to see clear nutrition labelling when we eat out, and a reduction in portion size, sugar and calories.
Cutting down on unnecessary calories and sugar can be a critical tool to help fight obesity and diabetes. The sort of thing that Action On Sugar are talking about are items on menus such as the Freakshake at Toby Carvery – something our founder Sara Roberts has been particularly vocal on. It contains 39 grams of sugar and contains 7 TIMES the recommended amount of sugar for a 7-10 year old child in their average day. Cutting down on unnecessary junk like this is what Action On Sugar feel could be critical to reducing obesity, diabetes and making this country a healthier place to live.
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