Children consuming 18 years’ worth of sugar by their 10th birthday, study finds

Parents urged to cut children's sugar intake
(Image credit: Getty)

Parents are being urged to cut 2,500 sugar cubes a year from their children’s diets.

This comes after Public Health England (PHE) conducted a study into children’s sugar intakes and discovered shocking sugar consumption levels among the nation’s youths.

The research gathered showed that the average English child has consumes 18 years’ worth of sugar by the time they hit their 10th birthday.

It is advised that 10-year-olds consume no more than 20 to 24g of sugar a day, which is the equivalent of five sugar cubes.

However, PHE’s survey found that the country’s children are actually consuming an average of 52.2g of sugar each day – the equivalent of eight cubes higher than the recommended daily sugar allowance.

PHE collected their information from looking at household eating habits across the UK, and now the government agency is launching a campaign to encourage parents to reduce their children’s sugar intake.

Their Change4Life campaign aims to encourage parents to change their children’s eating habits by making ‘a swap when you shop’ – making simple changes by shopping for alternative brands of foods like yoghurts, drinks and cereals.

Parents urged to cut children's sugar intake

Credit: Getty

They suggest that this small change could avoid hidden sugars in everyday foods and cut a child’s sugar intake by half.

Over a whole year, this could cut over the equivalent of 2,000 sugar cubes from children’s diets.

PHE’s campaign comes as obesity in children has soared, with a third of young people being overweight or obese when they leave primary school.

Public Health England says that overweight youngsters are likely to remain that way as they grow up and will end up with a higher risk of dangerous conditions like heart disease and some cancers.

‘Children are consuming too much sugar, but parents can take action now to prevent this building up over the years,’ said PHE’s chief nutritionist Alison Tedstone.

‘To make this easier for busy families, Change4Life is offering a straightforward solution - by making simple swaps each day, children can have healthier versions of everyday foods and drinks, while significantly reducing their sugar intake.’

Aleesha Badkar
Lifestyle Writer

Aleesha Badkar is a lifestyle writer who specialises in health, beauty - and the royals. After completing her MA in Magazine Journalism at the City, the University of London in 2017, she interned at Women’s Health, Stylist, and Harper’s Bazaar, creating features and news pieces on health, beauty, and fitness, wellbeing, and food. She loves to practice what she preaches in her everyday life with copious amounts of herbal tea, Pilates, and hyaluronic acid.