How much sugar are our children consuming?
There was an excellent programme on RTE a couple of days called ‘Sugar Crash’. It was presented by Dr. Eva Orsmond and explained how much sugar we were consuming on a daily basis. Along with nutritionist Dr. Elsa Jones, she highlighted how much sugar was hidden in the foods we feed our families on a daily basis.
The World Health Organisation recommends that an adult has no more than six teaspoons of added sugar everyday but we, here in Ireland, are having an average of twenty four teaspoons. We are the fourth highest consumers per capita of sugar in the world. Not only is sugar responsible for the childhood obesity epidemic that we are currently in, but it is also poisoning us all through heart disease, diabetes and chronic liver disease.
We spoken about sugar here before as sugar is hidden everywhere. We all know that fizzy pop is one of the worst offenders with nine teaspoons of sugar in a single can, but who would have thought that foods like Actimel have two and half teaspoons in a single small portion. Actimel is marketed as ‘Ireland’s most popular yoghurt drink’ and that it ‘boosts your family’s immune system’. Any parent buying this product would feel that they are doing right by their child. How are parents meant to know? We’re all told that we need to be better at reading labels but sometimes there are in fact 61 different names for sugar listed on food labels.
There needs to be better labelling to help parents know which products are sugar laden and which products aren’t. An app was launched last week in the UK by the Public Health England which allows parents to scan 75,000 product barcodes to reveal the amount of sugar in cubes and grams. It’s all part of a new £5million campaign to help parents become ‘Sugar Smart’.
One of the experts in the ‘Sugar Crash’ programme made the terrifying statement “Sugar is the alcohol of the child.” As parents, it’s time to help our addicts get clean and give them the chance of a healthy future.