Parents can monitor children's sugar intake with app

An app launched by the Change4Life campaign helps parents control how much sugar their children consume

An app that helps parents control their children’s sugar intake has been developed for phones and tablets.

According to the Change4Life campaign, which has launched the app across the UK, reducing children’s sugar intake could significantly reduce hospital admissions. 

The campaign, which is funded by Public Health England (PHE), revealed that the average five-year-old eats and drinks his or her body weight in sugar each year. 

One third of five-year-olds and almost half of eight-year-olds have tooth decay, which is the main reason such children are admitted to hospital. 

In addition, one fifth of children aged four or five and one third of children aged ten or 11 are overweight or obese. 

These children are more likely to become overweight or obese adults who are more prone to heart disease, some cancers and type 2 diabetes.

The Sugar Smart app works by scanning the barcodes of products and revealing the amount of sugar they contain. It is available free to parents across the UK. 

PHE’s chief nutritionist Alison Tedstone said: ‘Children are having too much sugar – three times the maximum recommended amount. 

‘Children aged five should not have more than 19 grams of sugar per day. This is five cubes, but it is easy to have more.’

A can of cola contains the equivalent of nine cubes of sugar and an average chocolate bar six cubes of sugar. 
Obesity costs the NHS £5.1 billion per year, a figure that is projected to rise to £9.7 billion by 2050.

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