Craving a taste of sugar throughout the day? It isn’t uncommon for individuals to have a ‘sweet tooth’ nowadays.
Guilty of an extra teaspoon of sugar in their brew, choosing the full-fat fizzy pop or indulging in our favourite sugary snacks, but is sugar becoming the new tobacco?
Action on Sugar argues that consuming too much sugar has been linked to weight gain. Providing a major and unnecessary source of calories whilst having minimal or zero nutritional value.
Obesity is currently a widespread public health issue, with a quarter of 2-10 year olds, a third of 11-15 year olds and two thirds of adults being overweight or obese. Research estimates this to increase to 70% by 2024, Public Health England suggests.
Obesity itself is not a stand-alone concern. This has the ‘domino’ effect increasing the risk of other public health matters.
Can include breathlessness, increased sweating, joint point, tiredness.
Individuals are more prone to could include type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, cancers and stroke.
Increased risk of depression, low self-esteem, low confidence and feelings of isolation.
Research also found that obesity in childhood increases the likelihood of carrying this on into adult life because of an unhealthy lifestyle they may lead. Just this week Public Health England launched its new Change 4 Life campaign around children’s snacking.
It was found that half of children’s sugar intake (equivalent to 7 cubes of sugar) comes from unhealthy snacks and sugary drinks. Experts are encouraging parents to limit their children to a maximum of two 100 calorie snacks a day in order to cut out sugar.
Again, this week Waitrose also announced they will be the first supermarket to ban the sale of high caffeine energy drinks to under 16’s, due to concerns both sugar and caffeine has on young people, which will come into effect on March 5th.
So what alternative snacks are there?
The average apple or banana is around 100 calories, in keeping with the recommended 5 fruit or veg a day.
Full of fibre which makes you feel fuller after eating.
Not a fan of malt loaf? Then why not try their banana flavour with a sweeter taste, still under the 100 cal mark.
Yes popcorn. Probably not the large tub you get from the cinema mind but the low-calorie alternative can be the perfect fix when in need of a ‘naughty’ snack.
An alternative to a “full-fat” option. Not forgetting that water is still considered the best option in terms of benefit to overall health and wellbeing by experts.
More inspiration can be found on the Change 4 Life website. But this doesn’t just go for children, this can be adopted by people of all ages.
With the increased risk too much sugar has to health, these simply lifestyle changes could make a huge difference.
So, Why not go sugar smart today?
I'm Aimee creator of 'Aims On Health'.
Here you'll find things all health and wellness but my main interests lie in public health.
My work experience involves working with vulnerable groups in society, providing health eduction and promoting positive behaviour change. I have also just completed a Master of Public Health degree at the University of Liverpool.
Feel free to contact me for advice and support by clicking on the contact page!