Parents across the county are being encouraged to help their children choose healthier snacks in a move to reduce sugar consumption and tackle obesity.
Durham County Council is supporting Public Health England’s Change 4 Life campaign, which encourages parents to choose 100 calories snacks for their children and give them a maximum of two a day.
Currently, half of children’s sugar intake comes from unhealthy snacks and sugary drinks, leading to obesity and dental decay.
The project complements Durham County Council’s ongoing work to tackle sugar consumption, including the launch of the SUGAR SMART Durham campaign in July last year.
The 18-month project, co-ordinated by Food Durham, aims to help people reduce their sugar consumption and has been endorsed by the council’s Health and Wellbeing Board.
The campaign encourages employers and organisations to take action such as promoting free drinking water, reducing high sugar options in vending machines and providing healthy meal deals.
SUGAR SMART registration has also been added to the Better Health At Work awards scheme as a criteria for participating employers.
Cllr Lucy Hovvels, Cabinet member for adult and health services, said: “We know that nationally, children consume three times more sugar than is recommended and in County Durham nearly one in four children aged four to five have excess weight – a figure that has risen to one in three by the time they reach ten years old.
“It is vitally important we address the issue of sugar consumption and these campaigns which will help busy families make healthier choices could make a big difference to the health of residents across the county.”