Businesses across the area are being urged to support a campaign to tackle sugar consumption.
Organisations, businesses and individuals across the county are being asked to join the Durham County Council SUGAR SMART Durham campaign by taking actions to help make it easier for people to reduce their sugar consumption.
Consuming too much sugar and too many foods and drinks high in sugar can lead to weight gain, which in turn increases the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke and some cancers. It is also linked to tooth decay.
Cllr Lucy Hovvels, Cabinet member for adult and health services, said: “Nearly one in four children in County Durham aged four to five have excess weight.
“By the time they have reach 10-years-old, that figure has risen to one in three and by adulthood an estimated 68 per cent of residents are obese.
“If an individual is overweight or obese they are more prone to a range of serious health problems such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes; as well as psychological and social problems such as stress and depression.
“Therefore it’s vitally important we address this issue as early on in life as possible, and secure a bright, healthy future for our children.
“I would encourage everyone to pledge their contribution to the initiative and help raise awareness around the risks of consuming too much sugar.”
Food Durham is a partnership that aims to encourage a healthier, greener and fairer food system that supports the local economy. Food Durham is coordinating the local Sugar Smart campaign and as a key partner, Durham County Council has already pledged to take action to:
- Promote free drinking water
- Reduce high sugar options in vending machines
- Promote healthy meal deals
- Reduce advertising of high sugar products
- Stock healthier food and drink
- Provide clearer information about the sugar content of food and drink
The initiative, which is led by the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation and Sustain, aims to make it easier for people to make healthier choices by making sugary produce less available or less well promoted.