Public Health England has launched a new campaign Be Food Smart that aims to highlight the surprising amount of sugar, saturated fat and salt found in everyday food and drink and encourage parents to ‘Be Food Smart’ and take control of their children’s diet.
The British Dietetic Association (BDA) supports this campaign which also includes a free smartphone application that works by scanning the barcode of products, revealing the total sugar, saturated fat and salt inside and providing hints and tips for adults and fun activities for kids.
British Dietetic Association spokesperson, Aisling Piggott, has trialed the smartphone app and said: “The Be Food Smart app is really useful; mixing accurate information with interactive activities. The mini-missions and challenges, plus the capacity to share on social media, will have real appeal for kids and fits with current evidence about what motivates children. It’s great to see a modern initiative like this designed to support families to lead healthier lifestyles.”
Without realising it, we are all eating too much sugar, saturated fat and salt. Over time this can lead to harmful changes on the inside and increases the risk of serious diseases in the future. Childhood obesity is a growing issue with figures showing that in England, more than 1 in 4 children aged 4-to 5 years old and more than 1 in 3 children aged 10 and 11 years old are overweight or obese.
This fat around their vital organs can cause weight gain and serious diseases in the future, like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, or even some cancers. Over time, eating too much salt can also raise our blood pressure putting us at risk of heart disease and stroke.
The Be Food Smart campaign will also include television and online advertising, and will distribute 4.6 million free Be Food Smart packs to primary aged children and their families at local events across England.
The Be Food Smart app is available from the iTunes store or Google Play, and you can find more information about the campaign on the Change4Life webpages: https://www.nhs.uk/change4life-beta/be-food-smart#BRgJFQOXLRCM9dRA.97