MP backs campaign as 36% of year-six children in Wirral are obese or overweight

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01 Feb 2019
Margaret Greenwood MP is backing the Fizz Free February campaign to raise awareness of the negative health consequences of drinking sugary fizzy drinks. The initiative is part of a wider campaign to tackle the obesity crisis in Britain.

NHS figures revealed that 36% of year-six children in Wirral are obese or overweight. This compares to the national average of 34% and the Wirral West MP has spoken of her concern over these alarming statistics.

Sugary soft drinks, mainly fizzy drinks, make up an average of 29 per cent of free sugar intake for 11-18 year olds, the single largest source of sugar in their diet.

Studies have also suggested that fizzy drinks can affect the appearance of young people’s skin, cause brittle bones and rotten teeth, as well as causing weight gain and affecting pupils’ ability to concentrate in school.

A can of Original Coca Cola contains 35g of sugar which is 145% of a child’s recommended daily sugar intake. A can of Original Pepsi contains 41g of sugar which is 171% of a child’s recommended daily sugar intake.

Figures from the NHS’s National Child Measurement Programme, England – 2017/18, also show that 25% of reception class children in Wirral are obese or overweight. Nationally, 61% of adults across England fall into this category.  

Public Health England dietary advice says that adults should consume no more than 30g free sugars per day, children aged 7-10 should have no more than 24g and children aged 4-6 should have no more than 19g.

Margaret Greenwood MP said:

“I am backing the campaign encouraging people to give up fizzy drinks for the month of February as part of the national Fizz Free February campaign.

“Obesity is a very serious issue in Wirral and across the country as a whole.

“The fact that over a third of Year Six children in Wirral are obese or overweight is a matter of real concern.

“Excess sugar consumption can have a terrible effect on people’s health. It can lead to obesity and other serious sugar-related illnesses such as Type 2 Diabetes.

“Campaigns like this do an important job of getting the message out there.”

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