The Change4Life nutrition campaign, backed by Hampshire County Council and launched in January, encourages families to ‘make a healthy swap when you next shop’.
Councillor Patricia Stallard, Executive Member for Public Health at the local authority, said, “We know that children in England are having around 2,800 sugar cubes more than they should each year, more than double the maximum recommended amount. The more children learn about the risks to their health from too much sugar, the more they will be empowered to make good choices now and in the future. It’s fantastic that the ‘healthy swap’ message they get at home will be reinforced at school and in libraries.”
As well as curriculum-based activities in schools to help teachers embed healthy eating habits throughout the year, children will receive take-home packs featuring adventures, games and stickers in ‘sugar smart world’, encouraging them to spot higher-sugar food and drink and choose healthier everyday swaps. Puddings, drinks, yoghurts, confectionery, biscuits and cereals contribute to most of children’s sugar intake.
Over thirty libraries across Hampshire will also join the campaign, providing games and activities to help children learn how to cut down on sugar every day. Basingstoke and Gosport Discovery Centres, along with libraries from Eastleigh, Lymington and Lyndhurst in the south of the county to Aldershot and Farnborough in the north east are joining the campaign.
The Change4Life Food Scanner app also brings food labels to life and can be downloaded for free from the App store or Google Play. It has already been used by more than four million people to scan millions of products. In addition, participating supermarkets will badge healthier options in-store and online with a ‘good choice’ badge, making it easier for families to pick lower sugar alternatives.