B&NES Council wants to hear local people’s views on its new Sugar Smart campaign, after it teamed up with local organisations including Sustainable Food Cities and the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation.
The campaign aims to address obesity, poor oral health and diabetes by helping people to recognise how much sugar is in their food and drink as well as supporting organisations to provide healthier choices.
The recommended daily intake of added sugar is a maximum of 7.5 teaspoons for adults and 5 – 6 teaspoons for children. However, on average, adults and children are eating up to three times this amount.
Councillor Vic Pritchard (Conservative Chew Valley South) Cabinet Member for Adult Care and Health, said: “Although many people do try to eat more healthily, the food industry doesn’t always encourage these healthy choices.
Sugar Smart B&NES is calling on a range of organisations to make Sugar Smart pledges to help make ‘the healthy choice, the easy choice’.
“Pledges can include making tap water readily available, signing up to the Council’s Eat Out, Eat Well Award, introducing healthier options or running Sugar Smart quizzes and activities.
“We have already partnered with a wide range of different organisations and hope to work with many more to increase our impact and reach different audiences.”
Bruce Laurence Director of Public Health said: “Tackling our national obesity problem is not a simple or easy task, but raising awareness of sugar consumption and promoting healthy eating options is one of the steps that can make a real difference.
“If the nation dropped its sugar intake to recommended levels within 10 years, over 4,000 early deaths and over 200,000 cases of tooth decay would be avoided.
“The burden of diseases associated with obesity such as diabetes would also be reduced, saving the NHS around £480 million every year.
“Food preferences developed in our early years can be very hard to change in later life, so we are particularly concerned about what our children eat and drink, which of course means that we need to work with their parents too.”
Organisations that have already pledged to join the initiative include Bath City Football Club, local leisure centres, schools, universities and early year settings, the Royal United Hospital and numerous community groups.
Virgin Care will be promoting Sugar Smart over the summer with fun games and activities at a range of events and Radstock and Westfield Big Local are launching a Sugar Smart grants scheme to fund Sugar Smart activities in Westfield and Radstock.
Local leisure centres are also getting involved by introducing healthier vending and catering and a Sugar Smart programme will be rolled out in schools, colleges, early year settings and Universities in the new academic year.
Bath and North East Somerset residents are being asked for their views to inform the campaign by taking part in a survey with the chance to win prizes including family tickets to a Bath City Football match, 1 month gym membership with Better Leisure, a Riverford organic veg box and many more.
Visit www.bathnes.gov.uk/sugarsmartsurvey to enter the survey.