Sweet-toothed children in Milton Keynes are eating twice as much sugar as they should

Children in MK are eating more than double the amount of sugar that health experts recommend, a new survey had shown.

The sweet-toothed youngsters are munching their way through 18 years' worth of sugar before they reach the age of 10, say local NHS bosses.

Sweet-toothed kids are getting through 18 years worth of sugar by the age of 10

Sweet-toothed kids are getting through 18 years worth of sugar by the age of 10

As a result one in every three children in MK is overweight by the age of 10 or 11.

The new statistics, provided by Public Health England, class 33.9% of 10-11 year olds in Milton Keynes as officially overweight or obese.

And having a high sugar diet is contributing to more than just the waistline. Sugar is one of the main causes of tooth decay and increases the risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease in the future.

Dr Nicola Smith, GP and Chair of NHS Milton Keynes CCG, said: "Changing the eating habits of children can be challenging, but simple sugar swaps can drastically cut back on the excess sugar children are eating.

Sugar allowance by age

Sugar allowance by age

“Take time to read the food and drink labels as cutting back on sugar can be as simple as changing from a chocolate or frosted coated cereal to a shredded wholegrain cereal or replacing a higher sugar drink for low fat milk or no added sugar drinks.

“If we cut back the sugar now before our children become young adults we are setting them up for a healthier, happier future.”

Experts advise that children aged four to six should have no more than the equivalent of five cubes of sugar (19g) a day. Seven to 10 year olds should have the equivalent of six cubes (24g) while children aged 11 and over should have no more than seven cubes' worth (30g).

The Change 4 Life website gives ideas for 'sugar swaps', including substituting plain cereal for frosted versions and giving low fat milk instead of sugary drinks. View the suggestions on here.

For more information about the effects of sugar on health visit the NHS website.