Goldsmiths, University of London, in Lewisham, launched a Sugar Smart canteen with Chartwells Catering this week with free tap water available and displays showing how many teaspoons of sugar are in popular fizzy drinks. They have also labeled food and drink that are Sugar Smart to make it easier for students and staff to choose healthier options.
Sugar Smart Lewisham is a joint campaign with the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation and food charity Sustain to tackle the issue of excess sugar consumption. Sugar Smart research suggests that children and adults in the UK consume two to three times the recommended amount of sugar. In 2016, Lewisham was the first London borough to join the national Sugar Smart campaign.
Lewisham’s Director of Public Health, Dr Danny Ruta, said: “Lewisham is still in the grip of an obesity epidemic that stubbornly refuses to subside. The latest statistics show that in reception year, over 22 per cent of our children are overweight or obese. By year six, this figure has increased to 39 per cent.
“People haven’t become greedier or lazier: the food available to us has changed.”
Sugar Smart want to reduce the amount of sugar in our diets; they are raising awareness by creating and providing environments where it is easier to make healthier choices. They are working with local authorities, schools, hospitals, and restaurants such as St John Baptist Primary School, Haidy’s Restaurant, AFC Lewisham and many others.
Vera Zakharov, Sugar Smart Campaigns Support Officer, said: “We are pleased to support Sugar Smart Lewisham in the next phase of their sugar reduction campaign, including schools, the Millwall Football Club and Goldsmiths. This will ultimately drive down over-consumption of sugar and improve the health outcomes of Lewisham residents.”
Join the Sugar Smart Lewisham Campaign here.