The Infant and Toddler Forum (ITF) welcomes the government’s announcement today to reduce sugar content in food and drink by 20%, and to introduce a sugar levy.
Judy More, paediatric dietitian and ITF member, said: “Sugary food and drinks can have a detrimental effect on children’s health. When eaten too frequently they cause tooth decay and add excess calories increasing the likelihood of overweight and obesity. Young children naturally like sweet food and drinks but it is a parent’s responsibility to offer children a balanced diet with a limit on sugary food and drinks. Reducing sugar intake by cutting out sugary drinks is an easy way to do this. We welcome any development that supports parents to better manage sugar consumption in their young children’s diets, makes them aware of the importance of doing so, and helps them put this into action.
“While the ITF supports these plans, we are however disappointed that the government has missed the opportunity to introduce other, more far-reaching measures in the fight against childhood obesity.
“For toddlers, advice such as the Ten Steps for Healthy Toddlers, on what food to offer, what behaviour to encourage, suitable portion sizes and how best to manage mealtimes, supports all families to take small steps towards a healthier life.”