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Reduce sugar and be sugar smart

Waltham Forest made a commitment to reduce sugar intake in the borough, through our Sugar Reduction Declaration.

Too much sugar is linked with a higher risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and tooth decay.

We are calling on residents, businesses and organisations to take part in our sugar Smart campaign to tackle obesity in Waltham Forest and support residents to become Sugar Smart, by becoming more aware of hidden sugars in food and drink and make good choices about what we eat.

Why are we campaigning to be sugar smart?

  • Nearly 60% of adults in Waltham Forest are estimated to be overweight or obese
  • 40% of Waltham Forest pupils aged 10-11 years are either overweight or obese.
  • This is worse than the London average

Pledge your commitment, to be Sugar Smart on the

Keep reading to find out how to take part as individuals or as a business, and a list of resources and services in Waltham Forest that can support you with eating healthily

Sugar Smart for Businesses, employers and employees

Employees spend 60% of their waking hours at work and this usually includes at least one meal time and several beverages. Workplaces are therefore important settings for improving employee’s health, reduce sickness absence and result in happier, healthier and more productive staff.

Here are a few steps organisations can take to be healthier and sugar smart

  • Advertising has been shown to influence behaviour. Advertise healthier foods more and unhealthy sugar foods less. For example, a free manicure, or even a prize draw for a self-pampering or boots voucher could all work as great incentives to encourage staff/ customer participation rather than advertising cake or icecream.
  • Provide varied healthier alternatives and options such and as fruits, vegetable, at staff meetings and events instead of only serving cake and biscuits
  • Encourage employees to replace sugary drinks for water. Make free drinking water fountains available in kitchens and common areas and encourage colleagues to make use of free drinking water fountains and save money
  • Promote healthy behaviours and raise awareness about hidden sugars in drinks and foods using posters, emails and screens. You can download resources through Sugar Smart UK website or email Public Health public.health@walthamforest.gov.uk 
  • Organise sugar free challenges encouraging colleagues to go sugar, biscuits, sweets and chocolate free this new year or for a particular month. Encourage employees and managers to include fruits and healthy food when bringing treats to share.

If you are a business or have a catering company in your organisation sign up to our Healthier Catering Commitment Awards and start enjoying the benefits for your business and customers

Sugar smart for individuals and families

Take part in our challenge to cut down your sugar intake for more healthier alternatives at work and at home.

Read the labels

  • 5g or less total sugars per 100g is low
  • More than 15g total sugars per 100g is high
  • Check the ingredients list to find out whether sugar has been added to a product. Download the Change for Life App and use the sugar scanner by simply scanning your food products

Cut down on sugary drinks

Many soft drinks are high in sugar and can contain twice the recommended allowance of sugar for adults (30g).

  • a 500ml bottle of Coca Cola contains 13 teaspoons (52g)
  • a 500ml bottle of Volvic flavoured water contains 6 teaspoons (24g)
  • some hot chocolates and caramel lattes can contain up to 17 teaspoons (68g)

Drink water daily instead of sugary or fizzy drink and save money. Milk or even sparkling water and lemon is a better alternative to replace sugary fizzy drink, hot chocolates and caramel lattes

Cut down on sugary food

  • Try reduced-sugar jam or fruit spread, sliced banana or lower-fat cream cheese instead of high-sugar jam, marmalade, syrup, chocolate spread or honey on your toast.
  • Check nutrition labels to help you pick the foods with less added sugar, or go for the reduced- or lower-sugar version.
  • Try reducing the sugar you use in your recipes.
  • Choose unsweetened wholegrain breakfast cereals that aren't frosted, or coated with chocolate or honey.

Resources in Waltham Forest

  • HENRY through the Waltham Forest Children and families’ centres and in partnership with Lloyd Park children’s charity offer families support around healthy eating, nutrition, and other health areas. Each Children and Family centre hub have trained nutritionists and champions, who offer group, drop ins and one on one sessions to families with children five years and under. Call 0208 496 5223 to get support.
  • NELFT nutrition and dietetic service offers expert nutritional advice and weight management service on a one to one and group sessions basis.
  • Bags of Taste offer cooking lessons around cooking healthy tasty meals on a low budget.
  • Healthier You offer people who at higher risk of diabetes a personalised service, including tailored weight loss, healthy eating and exercise programme. Speak to your GP about getting a blood test or complete this questionnaire to find out if you are at risk of diabetes.
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