You may have seen the recent advertising campaign for the new Change4Life campaign, Sugar Swaps which was launched by Public Health England Sugar Swaps encourages parents to cut down the amount of sugar their children consume by making one or more simple swaps.
Some of the statistics taken from recently published data is shocking – the data highlights that approximately 1 in 5 children aged 4 to 5 years old and 1 in 3 children aged 10 to 11 years old is overweight or obese. Whilst the Government is correctly utilising its resources for mums and children, is there anything that can be taken from this campaign that can help your employees in the workplace?
Regardless of age, eating and drinking too much sugar means extra calories, which causes fat to build up inside the body. This can lead to heart disease, some cancers or type 2 diabetes later in life.
In terms of your diet, it really is surprising how much sugar there is in some of the things we eat and drink throughout the day. Of course, sugar occurs naturally in fruit, vegetables and dairy products but the silent killer is ‘added sugar’. Added sugar may also be called fructose, glucose, sucrose, maltose, hydrolysed starch, invert sugar and corn syrups on labels. Honey and golden syrup are added sugars too.
Of course, no sane adult would eat sugar straight from a sugar bowl but, we tend not to think about the excess sugar lurking in the food and drink we consume during the working day. When faced with time pressures, it’s easy to grab a chocolate bar, a fizzy drink or biscuits if we’re hungry and need a quick energy boost, instead of reaching for something healthier – that most of us don’t notice how often we do it is a major issue.
For example, a typical breakfast muffin that thousands of us Brits will grab on the way to work for breakfast contains around 5 sugars cubes. Breakfast is a great way to give ourselves the energy we need for the working day, so don’t skip it – get up five minutes earlier and make time for it … this will give you the opportunity to eat alternatives such as wholegrain cereals or toast with a low-fat spread.
To eat a healthy, balanced diet, employees should only eat sugary food occasionally, and get the majority of their calories from starchy carbohydrate foods, fruit and vegetables. These are rich in important nutrients that can help reduce the risk of diseases like heart disease and some cancers.
Overall, the Sugar Swaps campaign is a rare triumph; a government initiative that is proactive and effective at getting actionable advice out to the British population. Anyone can sign-up and the starter pack contains a guide to eating less sugar, money off vouchers and weekly emails with handy tips.