Parents are being encouraged to download a new free app that checks the sugar content of food they are giving to their kids. The Sugar Smart App is part of a Change 4 Life marketing push by Public Health England aimed at combating type 2 diabetes and tooth decay, whilst prompting mums and dads to look for healthier alternatives to the food they currently serve up.
Users scan barcodes and are instantly informed of the sugar content of the food in grams and the equivalent in cubes. It is intended to highlight ‘hidden’ sugar in everyday foods which are helping towards the average four to ten-year-old imbibing 22kg of the sweet stuff every year!
I’ve downloaded it and it’s pretty good. There’s a lot of products that aren’t in the database yet, but it’s easy to use and fairly simple to understand. Look, here’s how much sugar there is in some chicken soup:
To be honest, I’m not entirely sure whether that is good or bad, but I guess the point is that you learn as you go along. Diet is so important and kids seem naturally drawn to the bad stuff. Before I was a parent, I figured that was down to peer pressure, but it has started before Elsa has had a chance to experience that and it’s certainly not as a result of what we give her – she likes quinoa for goodness’ sake!
It would be good if they’d release a salt version too as the levels of that brackish beauty are surprisingly high in mundane day-to-day items. Just take a look at the packaging for every middle class child’s favourite, houmous.
I’m not here to tell you how to parent, but I reckon it’s a good idea to have a look at this app, even if you do nothing about it. I was being typically facetious when I decided to scan some sugar to see how much sugar there was in it. In true clickbait style though, what I saw next left me stunned (well, mildly surprised)…
What does the other 3.2 percent consist of? Actually, scratch that, I’m not sure I want to know. Maybe they could have an app for THAT.