Release date: 11 February 2019
Think you can spot a sneaky sugar-filled snack from 20 paces?
Then West Sussex’s Sugar Swap Hunt is looking for you.
With half term just around the corner, school pupils across the county are being urged to swot up on their sugar to be in with the chance of coming top of the class in this year’s Sugar Swap Hunt.
The popular half-term treasure hunt returns again from Saturday, February 16, running right through until Saturday, March 2. During this time, visitors to West Sussex’s 36 libraries can take part in the fun challenge as they track down carefully hidden clues around the library while learning about which snacks are healthier for them, and which ones are likely to lead to toothache.
Families can choose to do the challenge just for fun, or they can hand in their entry once they have found as many of the answers hidden around the library as they can to be in with the chance of winning a healthy prize.
The challenge returns this year amid startling figures released by Public Health England which show that children in England are eating an extra 2,800 sugar cubes a year, which is more than double the recommended guidelines. That’s 8 sugar cubes too many each day, 56 too many each week and around 2,800 too many every year.
That’s equivalent to 312 cans of sugary cola each year or 469 higher-sugar yoghurts or 562 chocolate bars.
Too much sugar is bad for children’s health as it can lead to the build-up of harmful fat on the inside of the body that we can't see. This fat can cause weight gain and serious diseases like Type 2 diabetes, which people are getting younger than ever before as well as heart disease and some cancers.
Amanda Jupp, the County Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults and Health, said: “Unhealthy snacks and drinks account for around half of a child’s sugar intake. We all know that too much sugar can lead to serious health problems, as well as tooth decay.
“The Sugar Swap Hunt is a great way of learning about which snacks are better for your health while having fun at the same time, and accessing the wonderful community facilities on offer within our libraries.
“I hope you can find the time to take part!”
West Sussex families are encouraged to visit Change4Life for healthier snacking ideas at www.nhs.uk/change4life and to download the free Change4Life Food Scanner App to see what is really inside their food and drink, discovering which ones are healthiest. This is available from the App Store and Google Play.