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West Midlands experts call for reduced sugar in child’s diet

New data released in Walsall has indicated that almost 25% of children in the region are overweight or obese.

This has led to local health chiefs supporting a new campaign for healthy eating.

The data released by Public Health England showed that 24.1% of children starting school in the town are already overweight. By the time the pupils have reached the last year of schooling, the number of overweight or obese children has risen to 41.8%. This figure is much higher than the West Midlands average, which is 35.8%.

Change4Life has been launched by Public Health England in a bid to improve the situation. The initiative aims to encourage parents to make simple swaps in a child’s diet to reduce the amount of sugar consumed.

Cllr Ian Robertson, the portfolio holder for health, stated that awareness of the harmful effects of sugar is now increasing, with people realising that excessive amounts can lead to developing type-2 diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers.

Experts add that as the changes are small, they are more likely to be sustained. Some examples include swapping sugary breakfast cereals for plain ones, or substituting unhealthy drinks for a sugar-free variety.

Schools around the UK are already making similar changes, with many introducing a school tuckshop. Lincolnshire institutions are among those combining business knowledge with nutritious snacks, encouraging children to make healthier food choices.

A number of other initiatives are also being introduced by Public Health Walsall in a bid to reduce the levels of child obesity.

Posted by Susan
January 17, 2015

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