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HELP TO CREATE A SUGAR SMART ISLAND

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The Isle of Wight Council Public Health team is seeking people’s views on sugar consumption to help it plan a campaign to make the Island a healthier place to live.

On the Isle of Wight, a third of 10 and 11-year-olds and 2 thirds of adults are overweight or obese, which is higher than the national average.

In order to create a Sugar Smart Island, Public Health is interested in finding out about residents’ views about sugar in food and fizzy drinks.

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Public Health wants to create a Sugar Smart Island, where residents are more aware of the amount of sugar they are consuming and understand the risks of excessive sugar intake but in order to do that it needs to find out what people think it can do to tackle this issue. The views and ideas of the public are essential in helping Public Health to build a healthy future.

Dr Ben Browne, a GP working with Public Health, said:

“As a GP I regularly see people suffering from long term conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease, which can develop as a result of weight gain and obesity. These conditions can result in serious medical complications and shorter life expectancy.  While these conditions usually appear in adults, they are often related to poorer health during childhood.

“Local data shows us that one in five of our four and five year olds are overweight, and by the time those children are ready to move up to secondary school it is as many as one in three. That means in a class of thirty ten and 11 year olds, ten of them will be at risk of harming their health due to being overweight.

“Food and drink products with high added sugars can contain few nutrients and are often high in calories, and many people are simply unaware of the amount of sugar they are consuming, and the danger to their health.”

The Sugar Smart Island campaign will aim to raise awareness of the harm that can be caused by over consumption of sugar as part of a drive to help reduce obesity and improve dental health. It is about finding ways to reduce sugar intake, making simple changes which can make a big difference to health and wellbeing.

People are encouraged to take part in the consultation, which runs until 9th December, by visiting the council’s website www.iwight.com/consultations.

The views of Island residents will be used to formulate plans to create a Sugar Smart Island.

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