Nine in ten toddlers are consuming too much sugar, warns the new Public Health Minister

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Nine in ten toddlers are consuming too much sugar, warns the new Public Health Minister



NINE in ten toddlers are consuming too much sugar, the new Public Health Minister has warned.
In her first major intervention, Seema Kennedy promised to shift the fight against childhood obesity to the nation’s youngest as she vowed to go to war on the sweet stuff.
Getty Seema Kennedy, the new Public Health Minister, says lessons learned from the recent sugar tax may now be used to target food aimed at toddlers
Ahead of a Green Paper on prevention of poor health, the minister pledged to tackle the root causes of the Britain’s fat epidemic from the earliest years.
Officials claim 87 per cent of toddlers are consuming too much sugar.
Ms Kennedy said: “This goes further than politics. This is about children’s lives, and we all have a role to play.”
One in three kids leaves primary school too fat. Being too heavy raises their risk of type 2 diabetes, heart and liver disease, and cancer.
National guidelines state children should get a maximum of five per cent of their energy intake from added sugars.
But under-fours are consuming more than double this amount at an average of 32.6g daily – around eight teaspoons.
‘DEVASTATING’ HEALTH CONSEQUENCES
These do not include naturally occurring sugars in fruit and veg. Experts blame unhealthy snacks, processed baby foods and juices.
Warning that action must be taken, Ms Kennedy said: “We all know the scale of the problem – just this week…data showed that being overweight greatly raises the risk of early death, but some refuse to accept these devastating health consequences.
“One in three children are overweight or obese at the age of 11, hindering their ability to lead long, healthy, happy lives.
“But shockingly the problem is starting even earlier – toddlers are having double the recommended levels of sugar each day – borne out by the fact that the biggest cause of hospitalisation of children is for tooth extractions.”
LEARN FROM THE LEVY
Last year, a controversial levy on sugary drinks was brought in to cut fat rates and tooth decay.
England’s top doctor has since called for the scheme to be expanded to take in milkshakes, and even chocolates and crisps.
Professor Dame Sally Davies said treats could be whacked with taxes unless manufacturers acted first.
The biggest cause of hospitalisation of children is for tooth extractions.Ms Kennedy
Ms Kennedy said the upcoming Green Paper would focus on making baby and toddler food healthier.
She added: “Through sensible and proportionate action we’ve had some early success including cutting thousands of tonnes of sugar out of fizzy drinks.
“As public health minister I’ll be looking at how we can apply what we’ve learnt to a child’s early years using the forthcoming prevention green paper to explore how we can make these products healthier and give parents the honest information to make the best decisions at this crucial time in their child’s life.”
Honey a ‘monster’
CONSUMERS are being misled into thinking honey is a healthy alternative to sugar, campaigners have warned.
Products with honey can contain up to 25 times more sugar than alternatives.
Action on Sugar says people add too much honey to food and drink in the belief it is healthy.
Putting a 7g teaspoon of honey in tea adds about 6g of sugar but a teaspoon of table sugar — which is less dense — would be 4g.
Researcher Kawther Hashem, of Queen Mary University of London, said: “Our advice is to always opt for less sweetness by using less sugar, syrups and honey.”

Public Health England bosses want kids to consume 20 per cent less sugar by 2020 as part of the war on obesity.
But a report last year revealed two in three major food brands had ignored Government pleas to act.
Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at PHE, said: “Young children are consuming too much sugar, which is contributing to the unacceptably high levels of obesity and tooth decay seen by primary school.”
Chris McAndrew Shockingly, Ms Kennedy says childhood obesity is starting at an early age with ‘toddlers having double the recommended levels of sugar each day’
A Sun Investigation sees seven-year-old Annie Axworthy wear a sugar cam to reveal what children see when they are going around the supermarket with their parents

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