Consuming excessive amounts of sugar can lead to tooth decay and obesity which in turn increases the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke and some cancers. According to Public Health England, on average, children aged 4 to 10 in England are consuming twice their recommended sugar intake every day.
The SUGAR SMART campaign brings together local businesses, schools, children’s centres, leisure centres, workplaces, hospitals and community organisations to promote healthier, low-sugar alternatives to foods and drinks with a high sugar content. 11 Islington organisations have signed up already.
The council is asking for more organisations to sign up on the SUGAR SMART website, pledge to make healthy, low-sugar foods and drinks more affordable and accessible and to spread the word to customers, employees, suppliers and others.
Cllr Janet Burgess, executive member for health and social care and deputy leader of Islington Council said:
“We want to encourage all organisations in Islington, particularly those who regularly serve food and drinks to children and young people, to sign up to our SUGAR SMART Islington campaign and commit to making healthier choices more affordable and accessible to Islington residents.
“In 2017, over 20% of 5-year-olds in Islington had experienced tooth decay at some point in their short lives so sugar consumption is a clear and present threat to the health of our future generations.”
Caterlink, who provide school meals in Islington, said:
“We fully support the SUGAR SMART Islington campaign because it ties in with our existing sugar reduction programme. We have already removed equivalent to 250 tonnes of sugar per school that we work in.”
Martyn Lewis, a contract manager with GLL who manage leisure centres in Islington, said:
“GLL are proud to support the SUGAR SMART Islington campaign. We have already signed up to the Healthier Catering Commitment for our onsite café at the Sobell Leisure Centre in Islington and we are improving drinking water provision at all of our centres in the borough.”
Delaware North, who provide catering services at Arsenal Football Club’s Emirates Stadium have also signed up to support the SUGAR SMART Islington campaign. Yvette Chatwin at Delaware North said:
“Delaware North at Emirates Stadium are supporting the SUGAR SMART Islington Campaign. We have already reduced the sugary drinks available around the stadium complex and over the coming year we will be introducing more healthy choices at Emirates Stadium.”
Organisations can sign up to the campaign by visiting: https://www.sugarsmartuk.org/get_involved/