Survey reveals 5 year olds consume their body weight in sugar every year

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5th January 2016 11:37 - Food

New figures from a Government survey have revealed that 5 year old children are consuming their own weight in sugar every year – that’s Survey reveals 5 year olds consume their body weight in sugar every yearapproximately 3.5 stone!

According to the figures, 5 year olds are consuming an average of 22kgs of sugar per year, which are three times the suggested level. Experts have consequently warned that children are heading for an obesity crisis.

The Government survey explored the eating habits of 3,400 youngsters aged between 4 and 10 years.

The survey findings were revealed as supermarket chains have announced their plans to support new legislation to reduce sugar by 50 per cent, a U-turn after months of fighting the proposals. The legislation would require significant changes to the portion sizes and recipes of popular food.

Items which are to be included in the changes include: cakes, biscuits, fruit pies, pastries, chocolate bars, sweets, dairy desserts, yoghurt, sugary drinks, cereals and table sugar.

A spokesperson for the British Retail Consortium - which speaks on behalf of supermarkets – Andrew Opie, said:

"We believe we'll make the most progress by having targets for reducing sugar from those categories contributing the most to excessive consumption by children, as part of a wider reduction strategy.

“To be effective, they need to apply to all food companies, which is why they need to be mandatory … It means we see change across the board and those companies that are more progressive in removing sugar are not penalised."

The UK Government is set to publish its new obesity strategy by the end of January, following accusations from obesity campaigners that it has not sufficiently addressed the epidemic.

According to statistics, 1 in 5 UK children aged 5, and 1 in 3 aged 11, are classed as overweight or obese. Although the levels of obesity are not on the rise, they are some of the worst in Europe.

Chief Nutritionist for Public Health England– the Government agency who are responsible to combatting obsesity - Dr Alison Tedstone, said of the issue:

"Children are having too much sugar, three times the maximum recommended amount.

"This can lead to painful tooth decay, weight gain and obesity, which can also affect children's well-being as they are more likely to be bullied, have low self-esteem and miss school.

"Children aged five shouldn't have more than 19 grams of sugar per day - that's five cubes, but it's very easy to have more."

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