Children in Tower Hamlets are being encouraged to give up fizzy drinks for a whole month in the latest move to combat the borough’s soaring childhood obesity rates.
The council wants residents to take part in its Fizz Free February campaign.
Over 20% of four and five- year- olds in Tower Hamlets are obese. A staggering 26,000 children in the UK are hospitalised due to tooth decay each year and research from NHS Digital showed the number of cases involving children aged 5 to 9 rose last year for the second successive year.
Councillor Denise Jones backs the campaign. With the support of local schools and GPs, she said, individuals would learn more about the benefits of cutting down sugar. She told EastLondonLines: “You can save £485 a year if you stop drinking one fizzy drink a day.”
Boycotting fizzy drinks is an effective way to reduce sugar consumption. The campaign was inspired by the sugar tax, which was introduced last April. Food manufacturers are required to pay a levy on extra sugar added to their drinks. The money from the tax is estimated to raise around £520 million which will fund sports in primary schools.
According to Sugar Smartdrinking just one 330ml can of fizzy drink a day can mean you put on a stone in weight over a year.
Fizz Free February started last year in conjunction with Southwark Council and was so other councils have come onboard for 2019. Tower Hamlets residents who want to take part, can pledge to give up fizzy drinks for the month by tweeting #fizzfreefebTH.
For more information, visit the Sugar Smart website.