New figures have revealed that four to 10 year olds are estimated to consume over 5,500 sugar cubes a year, the same average weight of a five year old in England.
The new data is part of the Change4Life Sugar Smart campaign urging parents to reduce the amount of sugar their children eat.
Local health experts are backing the Sugar Smart campaign to highlight the role sugar plays in children's health and the importance of lowering the amount they eat to avoid obesity and other health problems.
Obese children are more likely to become obese adults with an increased risk of type-2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. Tooth decay is another serious problem associated with high sugar intakes, with approximately 28 per cent of children in England suffering from tooth decay by the age of five. In Cambridgeshire, over seven per cent of children aged four to five are overweight or obese. By the time children reach the ages of 10 "“ 11 this figure has doubled to 15 per cent. Although there are differences around the county all areas have substantial numbers of children who either overweight or obese.
Children are having three times the maximum recommended amount of sugar. Sugary drinks are the greatest source of sugar in a four -10 year olds diet. Sugar from biscuits, cakes and breakfast cereals contributes almost as much. Surprising amounts of sugar are found in everyday food and drinks. A new Sugar Smart app quickly shows how much sugar products contain by simply scanning the barcode. New government recommendations for daily maximum amounts of sugar are covered by the campaign, such as a total of 24g or 6 cubes of sugar for a 7-10 year old daily.
Val Thomas, Consultant in Public Health at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: "We're backing the Sugar Smart campaign because it's important for people to make a link between sugar, obesity and the increased risk of type-2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. These figures really do emphasise the large amounts of sugar children and young people are now eating, which are present in many of the foods we eat day to day. However making some simple food and drink swaps can reduce the amount of sugar a family eats and I'd encourage families to sign up to the Sugar Smart campaign for advice and support."
Cambridgeshire County Council Public Health team are supporting the Change4Life Sugar Swaps campaign. Families can also join in online by searching Change4Life and downloading the new free app. People can also follow the campaign locally via Cambridgeshire County Council's Facebook page and Twitter feed.