Medway Council is encouraging residents to become more Sugar Smart as part of a national campaign.
The council is supporting the Sugar Smart campaign created by Jamie Oliver and Sustain, the alliance for better food and farming, which aims to help organisations, workplaces and individuals to reduce the amount of sugar they consume.
Reducing your sugar intake can have huge health benefits including reducing the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes and bad oral health.
Medway Council’s Public Health team will be providing advice and support to residents to equip them with the tools they need to be Sugar Smart, including learning about healthier snacks and meals.
This includes making sugar swaps, for example, swapping sugary or flavoured yoghurts to low sugar or plain ones, swapping sugary breakfast cereals for porridge with a healthy topping and swapping ketchup sauces for yoghurt based ones.
Medway Council will be joined by representatives from agencies across Medway on Tuesday, 25 September at the annual Healthy Weight Summit including doctors, public health officers, school caterers and sports teams. Each person will be asked to think about the role they play in encouraging residents to live healthier lifestyles.
Throughout the autumn more than 20 schools across Medway will welcome the council’s Sugar Smart workshops which aim to teach children how they can stay healthy. Medway Council will also be holding roadshows across Medway where residents will be able to find out more about becoming Sugar Smart.
Residents are also being encouraged to make the Sugar Smart promise and sign up on the council’s website to receive a Sugar Smart pack containing stickers, recipe cards and information about the campaign.
'Encouraging residents to live healthier lifestyles'
Cllr David Brake, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder covering Public Health, said: “Reducing your sugar intake has great health benefits and it can help you and your family live healthier lives. We’re providing the tools to residents to help them reduce their sugar intake and make sugar swaps. The Healthy Weight Summit brings a number of people together from a range of different professions who can all help make a difference in educating and encouraging people to reduce their sugar intake. We will continue to work with health professionals and those who work in the food industry to encourage residents to live healthier lifestyles.”
Medway Council already runs a number of programmes to encourage residents to get more active and live healthier lifestyles including the Man V Fat football pilot in Strood which encourages men to play enjoy themselves whilst exercising, lose weight and speak to a health coach. More than 3,000 people have taken part in healthy walks and the council continues to encourage schools to sign up to the Medway Mile. The council’s A Better Medway team also works with early years professionals to encourage healthy eating from a young age.
Several food businesses across Medway have also signed up to deliver healthier menus too. This is part of Medway Council’s Medway Dines programme which enables businesses to evaluate their food processes to help them cut down on the amount of sugar in their food and become healthy eating advocates.
One of the businesses taking part is Café Focus, based at Capstone Country Park. Angie Reeves helps run the café, she said: “I signed up to the scheme as we’re passionate about good food. We already have salad pots and a range of waters available but we’re making more improvements, including providing zero sugar drinks options, reduced fat ketchup and mayonnaise, brown baguettes and more. The scheme enables us to make changes to provide our visitors with options which taste great whilst also being low in fat and sugar.”