Public Health England says children need to lower high-calorie snack consumption

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Public Health England (PHE) has warned that children are eating too many high-calorie snacks a day, increasing their risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes.
The government agency has revealed children are eating 400 biscuits and more than 120 cakes a year, on average.
Additionally, children consume at least three unhealthy snacks and sugar-sweetened beverages a day, which easily takes them above their daily recommended sugar intake.
Consequently PHE has launched a new campaign as part of their Change4Life initiative, which advocates parents to dissuade their children from consuming high-sugar products.
PHE recommends children eat just two snacks of no more than 100 calories per day, which it believes will help to tackle the increasing rates of obesity in the UK, particularly among children. Currently, a third of children leave primary school overweight or obese.
Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at PHE, said “The true extent of children’s snacking habits is greater than the odd biscuit or chocolate bar. Children are having unhealthy snacks throughout the day and parents have told us they’re concerned.
“To make it easier for busy families, we’ve developed a simple rule of thumb to help them move towards healthier snacking – look for 100 calories snacks, two a day max.”
The Change4Life campaign states that children eat around 400 biscuits, over 120 cakes, roughly 100 portions of sweets and 70 chocolate bars each year.
As part of the government’s sugar tax, which will be implemented this year, several food and drink companies have started lowering the sugar in their products, and PHE is working with the food industry to remove 20% of sugar from popular children’s products by 2020.
Benedict Jephcote, Editor of Diabetes.co.uk, said: “Healthier snacking is a good call. The trouble with calorie counting in this way is that you can have 25g of sugar, which is 6 teaspoons, and be within 100 calories. Cutting out sugary snacks will greatly improve children’s weight and overall health.”
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