A free app that shows how much sugar is hidden in everyday products has been launched by Public Health England as it warns parents to track the amount in kids’ diets.
The app has been developed after figures revealed children were eating three times the recommended allowance of sugar.
The biggest single source of sugar is fizzy drinks like colas – which contain the equivalent of nine cubes, more than the maximum recommended daily amount for any child.
But the app shows that cereals, fruit juices, and yoghurts also have high sugar levels. Yoghurts and fruit juices can both contain the equivalent of five sugar cubes per serving.
The maximum sugar intake for 4-10-year-olds is between just five and six cubes per day. For those aged over 11 the recommendation is seven cubes.
Public Health England has taken a tougher stance on sugar in recent months as evidence pointing to a link between the white stuff and tooth decay, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer mounts.
In October it published a report on sugar recommending the government take greater steps to pressure food and drink manufacturers into stripping sugar from products.
The paper, which made for unsavoury reading for some parts of the food industry, had been delayed due to what critics called political pressure.
It recommended a tax on sugary products as well as restrictions on cheap supermarket promotions and advertising.
However, in a move blasted by health campaigners, prime minister David Cameron ruled out the tax.
To help reduce consumption Public Health England is also kicking off a major TV ad campaign tomorrow.