Families in Wolverhampton are being encouraged to sign up for Sugar Swaps this January - and help make a big difference to their health.

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The city's Public Health team are backing a national campaign by Change4Life, which is calling on families to cut down on their sugar intake by making simple food and drink swaps at key times throughout the day.

Councillor Sandra Samuels, Wolverhampton City Council's Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: "It's surprising how much sugar there is in some of the things we give our children throughout the day, from the cereal they have for breakfast to the drinks they have during the day, their snacks after school and puddings after a meal.

"Indeed, the average person in Britain consumes about 700g of sugar a week - that's the equivalent of 140 teaspoons - while one 500ml bottle of cola can contain as much as 17 cubes of sugar. These are quite alarming levels of sugar intake.

"Eating too much sugar means extra calories which cause fat to build up inside the body. This could lead to heart disease, cancer or type 2 diabetes. Sugar also damages the teeth of children and adults.

"There are many ways that families can cut down their sugar intake, and the Change4Life Sugar Swaps campaign is all about taking small steps that can make a huge difference to your family's health.

"These can include swapping sugary drinks for water, semi-skimmed or skimmed milk or sugar free or no added sugar varieties, replacing sugary snacks like sweets, biscuits and chocolate with unsalted nuts, rice cakes or toast, swapping sugary cereal for porridge or whole wheat biscuits and swapping sugary puddings for low fat yoghurt or fruit.

"Families can also swap their regular purchases at the supermarket for products marked as no added sugar or sugar free."

Councillor Samuels added: "Making just a small swap can make a big difference - for instance, swapping to sugar free drinks can cut your family's sugar intake by up to three quarters of a 1kg bag of sugar in just 4 weeks - and with a new year now upon us, what better time is there than this to make the change?"

Families can register for a free Sugar Swaps pack, filled with hints, tips and recipe suggestions designed to help parents cut down the sugary foods and drinks consumed by their children, plus money off vouchers, swap cards and stickers. For more information, and to sign up, log on to Type=links;Linkid=3170;Title=NHS Change4Life;Target=_blank;.

  • released: Thursday 8 January, 2015