Limit children's snacks to 100 calories, health body says

Half of the sugar young children in England consume comes from unhealthy snacks and sweet drinks, figures show.

On average, primary school children have at least three sugary snacks a day, Public Health England found, according to BBC.

This means they can easily consume three times more sugar than the recommended maximum.

PHE has now launched a campaign to encourage parents to look for healthier snacks of no more than 100 calories - and to limit them to two a day.

The eight-week Change4Life campaign will offer money-off vouchers towards items including malt loaf, lower-sugar yoghurt and drinks with no added sugar in some supermarkets.

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   -  Sugar targets set for cakes and chocolate

   - Sugar warning over fruit snacks

Children between the ages of four and 10 consumed 51.2% of their sugar from unhealthy snacks, including biscuits, cakes, pastries, buns, sweets and fizzy and juice drinks, PHE's National Diet and Nutritional Survey found.

Each year children consume, on average, some 400 biscuits, 120 cakes, buns and pastries, 100 portions of sweets, 70 chocolate bars and ice creams and 150 juice drink pouches and cans of fizzy drink, the data shows.

Too much sugar can cause tooth decay and obesity.

    - An ice-cream - about 175 calories

    - A pack of crisps - 190 calories

    - A chocolate bar - 200 calories

    - A pastry - 270 calories

The Change4Life campaign now wants parents to give their children a maximum of two snacks a day containing no more than 100 calories each, not including fruit and vegetables.

The campaign will offer parents special offers on a range of healthier snacks - ones with 100 calories or fewer - at selected supermarkets, Public Health England said.

Healthier suggested snacks include packs of chopped vegetables and fruit, malt loaf, sugar-free jelly, and plain rice crackers.

Public Health England said it had also improved its app that reveals the content of sugar, salt and saturated fat in food and drink, and previously called on businesses to cut sugar by 20% by 2020, and by 5% in 2017, but experts have questioned how the targets can be enforced.