Public Health England (PHE) has launched a free app called Sugar Smart, which shows users the sugar content in their food and drink.

The app works by scanning the barcodes of more than 75,000 products to reveal the sugar content in cubes or grams, in a bid to encourage families to make healthier food choices.

We think it’s a fantastic way of using modern technology as a tool for the fight against the UK’s rising rates of child tooth decay, obesity and type two diabetes.

According to PHE, children aged four to ten are consuming an average of 22kg of added sugar a year, which equates to about 5,500 cubes. That’s more than the weight of an average five-year old!

Pulling out children’s teeth costs the NHS more than £30million per year, so it’s clear that there’s an urgent need for clever initiatives such as this one, to educate parents about what they should cut out of their children’s diets.

For instance, the app reveals that a small carton of juice contains more than five cubes, which may shock parents who could assume that juice would be a healthier alternative to fizzy pop.

In fact, they should opt to give their youngsters low-fat milk, water or a low sugar drink instead.

But just how much is too much?

The daily recommended limits are:

  • 4-6 year olds : no more than five cubes or 19g
  • 7-10 year olds: no more than six cubes or 24g
  • 11 year olds and above: no more than seven cubes or 30g

Whether you have young children or not, the Sugar Smart app is a great tool for everyone and it’s brilliantly easy to use.

We recommend that you experiment with it on your next visit to the supermarket, to find out just how much of the white stuff is lurking in the products you usually add to your trolley!

To get the free app, search for Sugar Smart on Apple Store or on Google Play.

Find out more about the campaign here

Image – Change4Life: Sugar Smart app