There have been lots of headlines about sugar lately. From worries about the amount of sugar children eat, to talk of a pudding tax.

But what can we do for ourselves to cut down on sugar?

One family found that a visual cue was really helpful. The Carter family, thanks to their son Matthew, have started thinking more carefully about the sugar they eat. Mathew set up an experiment, where each member of the family had a bowl of sugar, representing the daily amount of sugar they were allowed. This is 5 teaspoons for 4-6-year olds, 6 teaspoons for 7-10-year olds, and 7 teaspoons for over 11-year olds. A 330ml can of coke has 9 teaspoons of sugar in it.

Throughout the day, when a member of the family ate something with sugar in, they would remove the amount of sugar it contained from their bowl. Once the bowl was empty, they weren’t allowed any more sugar that day.

The family became more aware of how much sugar they were eating because they could clearly see how much of their sugar allowance each food had in it. This helped them to make better food choices. One of the children, for example, stopped putting sugar on their cereal so that they could save their allowance for later in the day.

Another way of cutting down on sugar is to make a swap when you next shop. For example, if you’re having sugary cereal for breakfast every morning, try swapping if for a low sugar alternative. You can even download the Change4Life Food scanner app to help you pick healthier food when you’re next out shopping.


Published on 3 Jan, 2019 (updated 29 Apr, 2024)

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