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Sugary snacks fuelling a childhood health time bomb

By Jennifer Cockerell

Half the sugar consumed by children comes from unhealthy snacks and sugary drinks, according to a campaign that suggests parents look out for snacks of no more than 100 calories at a time.

Public Health England (PHE) warned that on average, children are consuming at least three unhealthy snacks and sugary drinks a day, with around a third consuming four or more. This means that children can easily consume three times more sugar than is recommended.

Half of children’s sugar intake — currently around seven sugar cubes a day — comes from unhealthy snacks and sugary drinks, leading to obesity and dental decay, PHE said. This is while the recommended daily maximum is no more than five cubes of sugar for four to six-year-olds, and no more than six cubes for seven to 10-year-olds per day.

And each year children are consuming almost 400 biscuits, more than 120 cakes, buns and pastries, around 100 portions of sweets and nearly 70 of both chocolate bars and ice creams.

These sugary snacks are washed down with more than 150 juice drink pouches and cans of fizzy drink. 

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