Brighton & Hove has become the first council to launch a city-wide campaign aimed at tackling sugar addiction.
Backed by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, the Sugar Smart City initiative will map out what action should be taken to reduce sugar consumption and obesity. Jamie Oliver is urging food outlets to adopt a voluntary 10p sugar levy on soft drinks with added sugar to fund health and food education.
Food Education Programmes will also be introduced in every primary school in Brighton and Hove and vending machines in local authority buildings will provide healthy options amongst other ideas.
Brighton & Hove City Council director of public health, Tom Scanlon, said: ‘The purpose of this Sugar Smart debate is to raise awareness and for us all to take a look at what we can do at homes, in schools and in restaurants, cafes and takeaways to address this. We’re really pleased to have Jamie Oliver’s team as a partner in this.
‘I would encourage everyone to get involved in the discussion on Twitter and social media using the #SugarSmartCity hashtag so that we can truly be a Sugar Smart city.’
Treating diet related diseases costs the NHS in Brighton and Hove £80m a year, and 300 children were admitted to hospital for teeth extraction in 2012 /13.
Jamie Oliver said local initiatives were key to tackling the rise in obesity and diet related disease. ‘Brighton and Hove City Council is leading the way with Sugar Smart and I hope that we can see real and significant change across the city giving the children of Brighton and Hove a healthier future,’ he said.
‘I also hope this inspires other councils around the UK to follow Brighton and Hove’s lead.’