Hartlepool family's challenge to reduce sugar intake

A Hartlepool family has been chosen as one of only eight in the country to take part in a national Sugar Smart 12 week challenge.

Saturday, 4th March 2017, 10:43 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:19 am
Paul Cliffe and boys Hugo and Toby, who along with mum Carol, are taking part in a national challenge to reduce their sugar intake.

Each week the Cliffe family will receive a simple and fun challenge with the aim to raise the family’s understanding of how much sugar they are eating and how to find ways to reduce it.

Their progress and learnings will be shared with families all across the UK.

The goal is to help parents make good food and drink choices so that they help their own children grow up healthily.

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Eating too much sugar is linked to a number of health problems, both for children and adults.

The most obvious and visible problems are tooth decay and being overweight.

The less visible impacts, but often more serious later in life, are liver problems, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and strokes. Some scientists also link sugar to dementia and cancer.

Mum Carol said: “Our kids have been learning about reducing sugar at school and are very switched on about it.

“It is me who is going to find this sugar challenge the hardest, as I am a big fan of fudge and also a real chocoholic!”

Carol, husband Paul and boys Hugo, 10, and Toby, 8, were selected for the challenge, being run by KalliKids, the accreditation for children’s activities, in partnership with Sugar Smart, Jamie Oliver’s kids’ sugar initiative.

They were chosen from a list of 200 applications.

Karen Bach, founder of KalliKids, said: “Since I have started to look for sugar on the ingredients of products in the supermarket, I have been absolutely horrified to the point I have found myself saying things out loud in the shop.

“Not in a million years would I have expected smoked salmon or ham to have sugar in – but some of them do.

“It is now taking me longer to shop but I am deliberately avoiding products with sugar in when there is an alternative.

“Bad health and bad habits start when we are children. Amazingly, the average five-year-old in the UK eats their own body weight in sugar in a year.”

Karen added “Our mission is to help parents make the right choices for their children and to take pride in nurturing their children to become fulfilled adults.

“We do this every day through accrediting children’s activities and the Sugar Smart challenge is a fantastic, additional, way to help parents everywhere and every day.”