A new app that tells parents and children how much sugar is in the food they eat has been launched by Public Health England (PHE) in a bid to combat obesity and encourage families to lead a healthier lifestyle.
The new Sugar Smart app forms part of PHE’s latest Change4Life campaign and allows users to scan over 75,000 bar codes on products to make them aware how much sugar they are consuming. The app also includes recipes and discounts off healthier products as well as weekly email tips to help parents reduce the amount of sugar they give to their children.
According to Change4Life around 30 per cent of the sugar in children’s diets comes from sugary drinks, and kids are consuming three times more sugar they should be.
The Food and Drink Federation this morning welcomed the news but warned care needs to be taken not increase the price of food, particularly among families.
"The industry absolutely cares about childhood obesity it’s a serious problem,” Tim Rycroft, corporate affairs director told BBC Breakfast.
“We've been working with the government for many years now to try and tackle it. I think our record on reformulation products to take fats, salt and sugar out is rather a proud one. But on the issue of helping people to understand how much sugar is in their food then I think we should use every possible method and we should back it up with education so that people really understand what the reference in-take and daily allowance means.
"We've got a bigger range of highly nutritious sugar across all price point in this country than ever before. We just need to be cautious about taking action that's going to make food more expensive for people for whom food is the biggest part of their household expenditure."
In a report issued in October last year, PHE said that it supported a sugar tax and called for less marketing aimed at children across all mediums.