Controlling Sugar: Not Just Parents’ Efforts
Public Health England, an executive agency of the Department of Health in the UK, reports that half of children’s sugar intake comes from consuming unhealthy snacks and sugary drinks.
Public Health England’s study shows every year children are consuming around 400 biscuits, over 120 cakes, buns and pastries, about 100 portions of sweets, around 70 chocolate bars and 70 ice creams, with more than 150 juice drink pouches and cans of fizzy drink. On average, children consume at least three unhealthy snacks and sugary drinks a day, with a third consuming four or more.The overall result is that children consume 3 times more sugar than is recommended.
High sugar intake can lead to future issues of obesity and painful dental decay among children. Parents may be indulging their young towards this path without really thinking about it or are finding it difficult to manage their kids’ snacking habits. Sweets, in their various forms, do energize children, keep them occupied, and even resolve some babysitting issues quite quickly.
However, Public Health England is starting encouraging parents to limit children’s snacks to only 100-calorie snacks, two a day maximum, all as part of its Change4life campaign. The campaign is promoting healthier snacks, encouraging parents to purchase healthier snacks than the ones they currently buy. They can also get money-off vouchers from Change4Life to help them try healthier options. Selected supermarkets are supporting the campaign.
PHE’s improved Change4Life ‘Food Scanner’ app also shows parents how many calories, sugar, salt and saturated fat is in their food to help make healthier choices easier. It can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play.
Many children leaving primary school are already overweight or obese. Controlling obesity is not just up to the parents, but requires wider action. PHE is working with the food industry to cut 20% of sugar from the products children consume most by 2020, with work to reduce calories due to start in 2018.
Bellevue Dentistry’s Role in Sugar Control
It is indeed not just the government’s role looking after the public’s dental health and not just parents’ efforts as well to see to their kids’ sugar consumption. Dentists also play a significant part in checking for, educating and treating diet-related oral issues of young patients. Contact us to set up an appointment today.