HEALTH watchdogs have launched a swap shop appeal to help cut sugar and fat from our diets.
The Change4Life campaign launched by Public Health England TV advertisements will focus on swapping sugary drinks to diet, sugar free or milk which would enable an average family to save up to three quarters of a 1kg bag of sugar over four weeks.
Milk and dairy products may be great sources of protein and calcium but families looking to make healthier choices could switch from whole milk to semi-skimmed, which could cut out up to a third of a pint of fat in a four week period.
The Smart Swaps campaign is launched as the latest data, from the 2012/13 National Child Measurement Programme, shows that more than a third of children aged 10 and 11 in the Merseyside and Cheshire region are overweight.
Professor Kevin Fenton, Public Health England’s Director for Health and Wellbeing, said: “Figures from the National Child Measurement Programme show that 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.
“We’re committed to doing as much as possible to support families to make these swaps.”
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 two-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 GooglePlay.
Public Health England has announced £840,000 worth of vouchers, provided by commercial partners, for those who sign up to the campaign, including money off sugar free drinks and hundreds of offers on healthier products at thousands of Aldi, Lidl, Asda and The Co-operative Food stores across the country.
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.