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Drastic cut in sugar intake for Sussex schoolchildren

Sweet success for West Sussex County Council Credit: West Sussex County Council

The amount of sugar in West Sussex primary school meals has been cut significantly over the past 12 months.

A child who eats a primary school meal every day during the academic year now consumes half a kilo less sugar when compared to the autumn 2014 menu.

The reduction has been helped by changes to recipes, as well as new desserts containing 30% less sugar than last year’s.

It's an initiative by West Sussex County Council Public Health, together with the West Sussex School Meals service.

Alongside recipe alterations, the county’s main school meals contractor also rebranded their meals. Following a parent survey, a ‘Food Superheroes’ theme was chosen to help engage with children.

Around 30,000 children eat school meals in primary schools every day across West Sussex.

We’re very proud to have been commended for our work on sugar reduction. We know consuming too much sugar can lead to weight gain and related health and dental problems. In West Sussex more than two-thirds of adults and one in three children aged 10-11 are above a healthy weight. That is why we must continue this excellent progress.

– West Sussex County Council

'Sugar tax' part of new campaign to fight obesity

A voluntary 'sugar tax' is being imposed on sugary drinks in Brighton from today, in the battle against record levels of diabetes and childhood obesity.

Brighton and Hove is the first in the UK to take such action - imposing a ten pence levy in restaurants, cafes and shops.

A can of coke can contain just over ten sugar lumps. A small carton of blackcurrant juice - seven. Even, a glass of orange juice can be five sugar lumps. An adult's daily consumption should be just seven.

More than 300 children were admitted to hospital in Brighton and Hove to have teeth removed. The NHS spends £80 million pounds a year on treating diet-related diseases in the area.

So, will the new charge be enough to tackle the health crisis? Here's Andy Dickenson's report.

We hear from teenager Aaliyah Aiyanyo, diabetes sufferer Michael Babbage, TV chef Jamie Oliver, Brighton Food Partnership Director Vic Borrill, newsagent Abs Istefanous, and Brighton Director of Public Health Dr Tom Scanlon.