Sweet start to the summer holidays - Press release from Sustain

“What's pink, sweet and will no longer be available near the checkouts at M&S?”

Yes, Marks and Spencer has just committed to remove Percy Pig (and Colin the Caterpillar) and all other confectionery, crisps, cakes & biscuits from all their till points in all of their own stores by the end of September. Our collective campaigning is working: the days of the 'supermarket sugar trap' are numbered. Hasten their demise by targeting Morrisons, Asda, WHSmith and others still holding out from healthier tills. See the junk free checkouts webpage for ways to do this.

Cut sugar ­ the science says:

The Government's Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition's final report on carbohydrates came out last Friday. We welcome the new recommendations for halving the amount of free sugars in children’s diets and minimising consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages. We have put out a statement calling for the government to follow up its acceptance of the report by swiftly introducing effective measures to help families reduce their sugar intake. Sugar reduction should be a major public health and political priority … and all options should be on the table, including a sugary drinks duty.

Take action:

1) The British Dental Association has launched a petition echoing this, calling on government to take the necessary steps to ensure industry changes its products and practices and helps families to reduce their sugar intake. Sign the petition and promote it to friends and family. If you are on twitter, use #cutsugar.

2) 'Summer holiday homework' ­ scroll to the end of this email for a quick way you can help us even when you are out and about, or on holiday.

Your questions answered on the SACN report:

a) What are free sugars? Sugars that are added to food, as well as sugars that are naturally present in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit juice concentrates, not sugars in milk products and whole fruit & vegetables.

b) How much free sugars should children consume? No more than 5% of their daily energy intake. This is equivalent of 19g (5 sugar cubes) for children aged 4 to 6; 24g (6 sugar cubes) for children aged 7 to 10, and 30g (7 sugar cubes) for 11 years and over.

c) How much do sugar do children currently consume? Children and teenagers are currently consuming on average three times the new recommended amount of free sugars. Between 30-40% of this sugar comes from sugary drinks. Children's sugar consumption has not dropped at all in the last 5 years.

d) What is Public Health England's response? PHE has put out a very good statement urging parents to cut sugary drinks from children’s diets. They say:“sugary drinks have no place in a child's daily diet”. You can't get clearer than that.

e) How has the Government responded? Government has accepted the SACN recommendations and said that they will be using them to develop a forthcoming childhood obesity strategy. The PHE sugar reduction reports (see below) will also help inform the government's position.

f) What's next? PHE will be publishing evidence reviews on food marketing and fiscal measures. These reports, including policy recommendations, were meant to come out around now, but at short notice have been delayed … until at least September. We helped the Guardian to shine a light on this story last week.

g) Where now for a sugary drinks tax?Last Monday the papers and airwaves were filled with discussion of a sugary drinks tax ­ thanks to the excellent reports by the British Medical Association and dental health bodies. The SACN report singles out sugary drinks as the number one source of free sugars in children and teenagers diets, and recommends their consumption is minimised. This is a great platform for our campaign to build on. Stay tuned for developments, including from Jamie Oliver.

h) What is CFC's position on the SACN recommendations? Read our fullresponse.

Editors Notes




01788 575050


The British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy (BSDHT) is a nationally recognised body that represents over 4,000 Dental Hygienists and Dental Therapists across the UK and beyond.

BSDHT maintain an on-going dialogue with the General Dental Council (GDC), the Departments of Health and all of the main groups representing dental care professionals, and attends meetings of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Dentistry, bringing dental hygiene and therapy to the attention of government ministers and MP’s.

Visit www.bsdht.org.uk for more information.

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