20 choc chip biscuits – extent of Britain's sugar problem revealed

24 February 2017 | Healthy living, News

Sarah TouleSarah is World Cancer Research Fund's former Head of Health Information. Follow her on Twitter @SJToule.

Do you know how much sugar an average teenager eats?

The Obesity Health Alliance, of which World Cancer Research Fund is a member, has found that 11 to 18-year-olds consume every day the same amount of sugar as can be found in 20 choc chip biscuits!

That’s an incredible 73.2g of sugar EVERY DAY – that’s over twice the recommended limit of 30g of free sugars a day!

Sugar, excess weight and cancer

Consuming too much sugar is one of the main factors leading to children becoming overweight or obese.

Obese children are five times more likely to become obese adults which, in turn, makes them more likely to develop serious health conditions, including cancer.

Working together to tackle obesity

It can often be hard to know exactly how much sugar children are having as it is hidden in so much of their food and drink.

That’s why it’s vital the food and drink industry helps to tackle obesity rates by reducing the amount of sugar content in its products.

The Government’s reformulation programme has asked for a 20 per cent reduction in sugar by 2020 in food popular with children, and we urge companies to comply.

No single solution

Of course, there is no single solution to the UK’s problem with obesity.

Other measures such as the much-discussed sugar tax and the closure of loopholes to protect children from junk food marketing are also needed to help our children be healthier.

WCRF Sugar infographic

However, a cut in the amount of sugar added to food commonly eaten by children would be a great start.

Our plea to the food and drink industry is clear – make the healthy choice the easy choice.

Do you know the lifestyle factors that are increasing your risk of cancer?​ Our handy guide separates the myths from the reality.

Sarah Toule | 24 February 2017