Croydon has joined forces with celebrity chef Jamie Oliver and the charity Sustain to help residents become more aware of the adverse health risks of consuming too much sugar.
The SUGAR SMART Croydon campaign www.croydon.gov.uk/sugarsmart launches on Sunday 14 January at Surrey Street Market’s New Year, New You event from 12pm to 5pm.
The day will include games and quizzes that will reveal to individuals and families the hidden sugars in everyday food and drink favourites like cereals, fruit juice, bread and some granola and yogurt pots. Experts will be on hand providing tips on how to be sugar savvy to achieve a healthier diet and to encourage the public to make personal SUGAR SMART pledges to better manage their sugar intake.
Jamie Oliver and Sustain started the SUGAR SMART campaign to help local authorities, organisations, workplaces and individuals to reduce the amount of sugar we all consume.
Their SUGAR SMART tray is handed-on every time a new borough or city joins the campaign. Councillor Louisa Woodley, cabinet member for families, health and social care, will receive the SUGAR-SMART tray from a representative of Hackney Council at Surrey Street market.
Councillor Louisa Woodley, cabinet member for families, health and social care
“We are proud to be a SUGAR SMART borough, which is about encouraging residents to enjoy treats in a much healthier way. There is nothing wrong with having the occasional sweet treat and we know it can be hard to avoid sugar. However, the associated health issues with obesity and type 2 diabetes means our residents need to be aware of the risks of consuming too much sugar in food and drinks. Having a balanced diet that is nutrient-rich, with fruit and vegetables, wholegrain bread, cereals, rice and pasta, lean meats, fish, pulses and dairy foods, means you can enjoy what you like in moderation.”
Jamie Oliver said, “It’s brilliant that Croydon has joined us and are launching their own SUGAR SMART campaign. They’ll be joining us in raising awareness about the long-term damage too much sugar can have on our health, and empowering us all to reduce it in our diets. We’re facing a growing obesity crisis where one in three children are leaving primary school either overweight or obese, seriously increasing their chances of developing diet-related diseases, like type-2 diabetes, earlier in adult life. Eating nutritious food and getting regular exercise will help us all lead healthier and happier lives.”
SUGAR SMART Croydon will also be working with Croydon University Hospital, businesses, schools and early-years educators to help them to cut down the amount of sugary food and drink they promote or serve. The campaign will seek to place stickers on drinks vending machines around the borough with information about the sugar quantity in the items for sale.
Sugar is a major cause of tooth decay and weight increase. It can also lead to the build-up of harmful fat around the vital organs, resulting in heart disease and some cancers.
It is recommended that adults consume no more than 30 grams of added sugar a day, which is equivalent to seven cubes or teaspoons. For children aged seven to 10 the limit is six cubes and only five cubes for four to six year olds.
Some people can eat as many as 40 teaspoons of sugar every day – more than five times the recommended daily allowance. It is estimated that one in five children start primary school obese or overweight.
The majority of your sugar intake should come from fresh fruit and vegetables, and from milk, as they also provide other nutrients to our bodies, such as vitamins, minerals and fibre.
Croydon’s mission to be a SUGAR SMART borough is part of a healthy weight action plan, led by Croydon Council’s public health team that follows on from the successes of the Food Flagship programme to support residents to live longer, healthier lives.
Other health and well-being advice at the New Year, New You Surrey Street Market event will be offered by Croydon’s Live Well advisors, taking people through the benefits of the JustBe Croydon health website www.justbecroydon.org, Palace for Life Foundation, Nuffield Health and Croydon Best Start.
The activities on the day include:
- Outdoor blast classes from Nuffield Health, including Zumba session. These will run from 12:30pm-2:30pm.
- Health MOTs offered by Croydon’s Live Well team and Nuffield Health
- Healthy living tips as part of the Healthy Eagles Child Weight Management Programme run by the Crystal Palace for Life Foundation.
- Health bar and protein shake tasters provided by Nuffield Health
- Information on health services available to parents with children under 5 years old (breastfeeding support, weaning advice, children’s centres etc.) from the Best Start Croydon team.