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PHE: Children should have no more than two 100-calorie snacks a day

Thursday 4th January 2018
Change4Lifes new campaign is urging parents to ensure their children have no more than two snacks a day, coming in at under 100 calories each time. Image: a_namenko via iStock
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The Change4Life division of Public Health England (PHE) has launched a new campaign that tells parents they should be limiting the number of snacks their children have to just two per day.

What's more, Change4Life is recommending that snacks should come in at 100 calories or fewer each time in a bid to dramatically reduce the amount of salt, sugar and fat that children in the UK are regularly consuming.

According to the recent National Diet and Nutrition Survey carried out by PHE, the average child gets more than half (51.7 per cent) of their sugar intake from unhealthy snacks, rather than sources of natural sugars, such as fruit.

In addition, they consume almost 400 biscuits, 150 fizzy or sugary juice drinks, 120 cakes and 70 chocolate bars or ice creams each year on average, which could be having an adverse effect on their long-term health.

With this in mind, Change4Life has launched a series of TV, radio and social media adverts that feature the mantra 'look for 100 calorie snacks, two a day max'.

At the same time, PHE has relaunched its Be Food Smart smartphone app, which enables parents to scan food packets as they shop so they can see exactly how much sugar, salt and fat different products contain, allowing them to subsequently make healthier choices where necessary.

Examples of snacks coming in at 100 calories or fewer given by PHE include one crumpet or scotch pancake, fresh fruit, sugar-free jelly or small fromage frais-style fruit-flavoured yoghurts. PHE recommends that snacks like cakes, chocolate bars and packets of crisps are swapped for these in children's lunchboxes as the new school term gets underway.

Commenting on the new campaign, founder of Mumsnet Justine Roberts stated: "The volume of sugar kids are getting from snacks and sugary drinks alone is pretty mind-blowing and it can often be difficult to distinguish which snacks are healthy and which aren't.

"This rule of thumb from Change4Life will help parents make healthier choices, which can only be a good thing."

Written by Martin Lambert

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