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App Offers Sweet Way to Cut Sugar Intake

Jul 19, 2016

By Dean George

How sugar smart are you?

A British health group has created a free app that helps users monitor the total sugar content of more than 87,000 food and drink products by scanning the product’s bar codes.

Public Health England (PHE), a national health organization sponsored by the United Kingdom’s Department of Health, created the Change4Life Sugar Smart app to display the number of milligrams products contain and convert that into a pictorial representation of equivalent sugar cubes.

By displaying the number of sugar cubes found in different foods and drinks, the app helps emphasize that ingesting large amounts of hidden sugar often leads to tooth decay, obesity and Type 2 diabetes.

For example, a small carton of fruit juice contains more than five cubes of sugar. That’s the recommended daily limit for children four to six years of age. Seven to 10-year-olds should have no more than six cubes of sugar a day, and aged 11 and above should ingest no more than seven cubes a day.

PHI reports that the average child aged four to 10 years old consumes 22 kilograms of added sugar a year. The BBC reports that’s about 5,500 sugar cubes, or more than the average weight of a five-year-old.

For those keeping score at home, that’s more than three times the recommended daily limit for sugar.                

Food labels already display information on sugars, fats and salt, but the sugar smart app was developed to show quickly and easily how much hidden sugar is contained in thousands of everyday products.

Discerning parents may think they know how to read a food label, but labels can be deceiving. The sugar smart app not only reveals the actual amount of sugar content, but does so with a colorful, animated graphic that parents can share with their kids. Users simply scan the product barcode to view the results.

The sugar smart app is available for free on iTunes and Google Play. Version 2.0 includes an updated design and an increased scan history for easier reviewing.

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Copyright 2016, Bloom Insurance Agency, LLC

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