Pupils of George Spicer Primary School in Enfield Town have signed Enfield Council’s sugar pledge in a collective effort to get healthier and to make smarter food and drink choices.
Pupils aged five to 11 years signed pledge cards where they promised to become ‘sugar smart’ by choosing to reach for healthier snacks, to eat at least five vegetables or fruit a day and/or to cut down on sugary drinks.
George Spicer School is one of 11 primary schools pledging to tackle excess sugar consumption through the Sugar Smart Enfield campaign.
Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health, Cllr Yasemin Brett, said: “We have been working hard with parents and pupils on the importance of healthy eating and have supplemented this with some fantastic opportunities to be involved in physical activities such as the Daily Mile and cycling. It has been magnificent to see the support from schools such as George Spicer on reducing sugar intake and I am sure these enthusiastic children will also be asking mums, dads and carers to make the sugar pledge too.”
Pledge cards can be found in Enfield’s hub libraries, at the Civic Centre or you can get involved by making the pledge online, here.
Childhood obesity is a nationwide problem that Enfield Council has committed to tackle by working closely with NHS England, Public Health England, Enfield CCG and with schools in the borough. The Council is also adopting a Health in All Policies (HiAP) approach to identify all areas where action to improve health and reduce health inequalities can be taken.
A diet high in sugar can contribute to weight gain and cause tooth decay, heart disease and Type-2 Diabetes. The advice is that children aged four to six should have no more than 19g of free sugars a day – that’s five sugar cubes. Children aged seven to 10 should have no more than 24g or six sugar cubes. Free sugars are sugars added to food or drinks and those present in honey, syrups, juices and smoothies. They are essentially ‘empty calories’. Sugar found naturally in milk, whole fruit and vegetables do not count as free sugars.
Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Cllr Achilleas Georgiou added: “It is of huge importance that children have access to healthy, nutritious and filling food and to reduce the allure of sugary products. Schools meals are a fantastic way of helping children achieve their healthy goals and to get their five-a-day. With over 18,000 meals a day provided by Enfield Catering Services - that's 3.5 million meals every year - parents and pupils can be sure they are getting freshly cooked food using high-quality, ethically-sourced ingredients.”
Remember, what we drink as well as what we eat can impact our weight, heart-health and teeth. Reach for a glass of water or milk instead of squash and smoothies. Sugar can be present in many foods that may surprise you, such as breakfast cereals and some low-fat products. Find out more about sugar in our diets.