Families in Wolverhampton are being encouraged to make one easy swap to help cut sugar and fat from their everyday snacks, drinks and meals this January.

A new Change4Life campaign launched by Public Health England says that by swapping sugary drinks to diet or sugar free drinks or milk, an average family could consume up to 750g less of sugar over 4 weeks.

While milk and dairy products are great sources of protein and calcium, families looking to make healthier choices could also swap whole milk for semi skimmed milk, potentially saving up to a third of a pint of fat over 4 weeks.

The Smart Swaps campaign is launched as the latest data shows that 36% of children aged 10 to 11 in the West Midlands carry excess weight.

Those who sign up to the campaign are able to choose from 5 simple Smart Swaps:

  • sugary drinks to diet, sugar free or no added sugar drinks or to milk or water
  • cheese to reduced fat cheese
  • butter to lower fat butters or spreads
  • sugary cereal to low sugar cereal, such as plain whole wheat cereal biscuits, plain shredded whole grain or plain porridge
  • whole milk to semi skimmed; or semi skimmed to 1% fat or skimmed milk.

Ros Jervis, Wolverhampton's Director of Public Health, said: "More needs to be done to help local families cut out certain unhealthy elements of their diet in order to improve their health.

"Swapping like for like food in your diet could help you cut out surprising levels of fat, sugar and ultimately calories."

Change4Life adverts will run on TV, radio and online highlighting the shocking amounts of sugar in everyday food and drinks - including 52 sugar cubes in a 2 litre bottle of pop.

By signing up to the Smart Swaps campaign, people will receive a free Smart Swapper pack full of tasty, healthier meal ideas, fun fridge magnets and money off vouchers. A free Smart Recipes app is also available bursting with quick, healthy recipes, which can be downloaded from iTunes and Google Play.

Ainsley Harriott, Change4Life ambassador, said: "You'd be surprised about the amount of sugar and saturated fat you could cut from your diet just by swapping a few simple things - you won't even notice the difference.

"The Smart Swaps campaign has so many ideas for swaps and recipes, there has never been a better time to make a healthier change to your diet than now."

People can sign up and choose their swaps by searching Change4Life online.

  • released: Tuesday 7 January, 2014