Fizz Free February campaign launches to tackle sugar consumption

Jack Woodfield
Mon, 04 Feb 2019
Fizz Free February campaign launches to tackle sugar consumption
A campaign called Fizz Free February is encouraging people to cut out sugary drinks for the rest of the month.

The idea has been backed by MP Tom Watson, who last week called for cartoon characters to be removed from all high-sugar foods, and celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. Fizz Free February was first launched by Southwark Council last year.

The campaign is aiming to curb excessive sugar consumption, which is linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes and tooth decay. It comes as official statistics show a 70% increase in the number of teenagers with type 2 diabetes within four years.

Mr Watson, who is the shadow secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport urged, put his type 2 diabetes into remission in the autumn by cutting out junk food, refined sugar, starchy carbohydrates and processed food.

Now, the Labour deputy leader is tackling corporations that profit from children's high sugar consumption. He said: "The heaps of sugar companies are putting in their fizzy drinks are as good as poisoning our kids. With scores of children suffering from tooth decay, obesity and even diabetes, we must do something to alert people to the danger of too much sugar."

In England almost two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese, while 34% of youngsters leaving primary school are also either overweight or obese.

According to Public Health England (PHE), adults should consume no more than 30g of sugar every 24 hours, no more than 24g should be consumed by youngsters aged 7-10, and children aged four are advised to have no more than 19g.

The sugar tax brought in last spring has helped to curb levels of sugar but despite this a can of Coca-Cola still has 35g of sugar in it, representing 145% of a child’s recommended daily intake.

Health secretary Matt Hancock and his labour shadower Jonathan Ashworth have also pledged their backing for the Free Fizz February initiative.
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