By Eleanor Wight
WARRINGTON council are encouraging local families to download Public Health England’s new Change4Life app ‘Be Food Smart’ after survey reveals children in the UK are consuming more than 11g of sugar at breakfast alone.
Although Warrington has had a consistently low record for childhood obesity in recent years, 1 in 6 children in the borough are obese. Change4Life’s survey indicated that one of the major issues with childhood obesity was that there was a lack of knowledge on what constitutes a healthy meal for children.
The government are hoping to tackle this issue with the ‘Be Food Smart’ app which uses a barcode scanning mechanism that lists the nutritional values of each food product. This highlights how much sugar, saturated fat and salt is in each meal. The app also works as a tool for families to compare brands and also had a special section for children to complete mini missions that both educate and entertain the whole family.
Cllr Maureen McLaughlin, Warrington’s executive board member for public health and wellbeing, said: “Sugary cereals, drinks and spreads are the main sources of sugar consumed at breakfast time. Throughout the day, many children are also consuming too much sugar, saturated fat and salt in items such as confectionery, biscuits, muffins, pastries and soft drinks.
“These all contribute to an unhealthy diet and can lead to the build-up of harmful fat, causing weight gain and serious diseases in the future.
“We are very keen to promote the Be Food Smart initiative to parents in Warrington, to help them find out exactly what’s in the food they are buying so they can gain more control over their family’s diet. I encourage parents to download the app, which is very straightforward to use and helps you to choose healthier food and drink options for you and your children.”
The app is available to download on the iTunes and Google Play store.