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Sugary food risk for children

Excessive amounts of sugar in food is putting children's physical and oral health at risk, say the Faculty of Public Health (FPH).

The FPH are calling on the food industry to cut down on the amount of sugar that is added to our food.

It says too much sugar can lead to children becoming overweight and obese and also puts them at risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

Sugar is also "hidden" in savoury foods such as cereals, beans, peas, soups and sauces, says the FPH, and poorest families are the most at risk.

There are presently no recommended "safe" levels of consumption for sugar, as there is for salt.

But it is estimated that a child's risk of becoming obese increases by 60% for every extra sugar-sweetened drink they consume every day.

FPH President Professor Alan Maryon Davis said: "The food industry should use labelling that children can easily understand, such as the traffic-light scheme, and reformulate their foods to cut right down on added sugar.

"They've made a good start with salt and fat - sugar is the next logical step."

Faculty of Public Health

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