Jamie Oliver teams up with Redbridge Council after three in five residents overweight or obese.

The Sugar Smart tray being handed over to Cllr Mark Santos from Sustain’s Vera Zakharov , at the tow

The Sugar Smart tray being handed over to Cllr Mark Santos from Sustains Vera Zakharov , at the town hall. Picture:Redbridge Council - Credit: Archant

Residents eat less fruit than the average Londoner and three out of five adults carry too much weight.

When you add in the fact that one in five 10 to 11-year-olds is classified as obese it is easy to see why Redbridge Council took action to balance the scales.

The local authority has signed up to Sugar Smart to raise awareness about the high levels of sugar found in everyday foods and drinks and to encourage local organisations and businesses to pledge to take action.

The schemes is a joint initiative with the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation and the food charity Sustain and was launched at Redbridge Town Hall, High Road, Ilford, with the passing of the symbolic Sugar Smart tray from the London Borough of Hackney.

Councillor Mark Santos, cabinet member for health and social care, said: “To reduce sugar consumption in the borough we are working in partnership through the obesity steering group by offering residents the opportunity to increase their knowledge through things like healthy cookery classes, run by our children’s centres.

“Vision, has also rolled out a healthy vending initiative in three of our leisure centres which is ensuring that healthy options are available and promoted.

“We are also working with our environmental health colleagues to encourage fast food businesses to sign up to the Healthy Catering Commitment which aims to improve the out of home food offer.”

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It is hoped that by highlighting the pitfalls of sugar consumption, local business and individuals will pledge to make changes to their eating habits to support a healthier lifestyle.

Public Health England (PHE) previously announced that children on average consume half the daily recommended sugar intake before the morning school bell rings.

The average pupil in England consumes almost three sugar cubes at breakfast -the recommended daily maximum is five cubes for 4 to 6-year-olds.

Sara Stanner, of British Nutrition Foundation said: “We were concerned to see the high amount of free sugars and low amount of fibre.

“We know a healthy breakfast can make an important contribution to children’s vitamin and mineral intakes and its consumption has been linked to many positive health outcomes.”

Visit: sugarsmartuk.org