Mark Whitehead 22 February 2016

Councils call for fizzy drinks to show sugar content in teaspoons

Fizzy drink companies should help fight tooth decay and child obesity by putting child-friendly labels on their products showing how much sugar they contain, councils leaders have demanded.

The Local Government Association (LGA) says many youngsters and their parents are unaware of the high level of sugar in fizzy drinks.

It says the new labels should spell out the number of teaspoons of sugar in each drink.

The call, which comes ahead of the government's forthcoming child obesity strategy, follows research showing sugar is a major cause of obesity and tooth decay.

A recent survey finding that 12% of three-year-olds in England suffered from poor dental hygiene.

Some energy and sports drinks have 20 teaspoons of sugar in a 500 ml can - more than three times the daily allowance for adults.

The LGA's community wellbeing spokesperson, Cllr Izzi Seccombe, said drinks manufacturers were already heading in the right direction with sugar reduction but needed to go further, faster and 'show leadership' on the issue.

'On average it takes just 15 seconds for shoppers to decide on an item, so we need to have a labeling system which provides an instant at-a-glance understanding of sugar content.

'Raising awareness of sugar quantities and giving families a more informed choice is crucial if we are to make a breakthrough in the fight against tooth decay and obesity.'

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