Public Health England (PHE) helps take the guesswork out of determining the sugar content of over 75,000 food and drink products with its free ‘Sugar Smart’ app. Users simply scan the barcode of the item in question and the app reveals the total sugar content in grams or more easily gauged four-gram sugar cubes, according to BBC.
The app was created to make families more aware of added sugar in the products they purchase and encourage them to choose healthier alternatives. By decreasing sugar intake, officials hope to combat tooth decay, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. According to the Change4Life advertising campaign , on average, children from ages four to 10 consume 22 kilograms of added sugar per year, or 5,500 sugar cubes.
Sugar overconsumption in children has led to painful tooth decay, weight gain, and has potential for serious health problems later in life, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers, according to Dr. Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at Public Health England. Tedstone says, “If there's one thing I'd strongly encourage parents to do, and that's to swap sugary drinks out of their kids' diets for either a low-sugar drink or water or low-fat milk, which would be a really excellent choice.”