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SUGAR SMART launched in Carlisle

[A]s part of Carlisle’s commitment to being a Healthy City, a new project will be launched this Friday (19 January).

SUGAR SMART Carlisle will be launched at a special event at Carlisle College, starting at 9.45am. The project aims to educate and help people to reduce their excessive intake of sugar consumption which can lead to obesity, diabetes and tooth decay in adults and children.

The Mayor of Carlisle, Cllr Trish Vasey will present certificates to schools and community groups who have already made SUGAR SMART pledges, including Carlisle College, Newlaithes infant School and Belle Vue Primary School.

Julie Willows, Headteacher at Newlaithes Infant School, said: “We have always worked towards being a healthy school so we are delighted to be part of the Carlisle SUGAR SMART project. Guided by staff, our school councillors have led this in school and they collected ideas from all children about how to be more sugar smart. They shared their ideas with children from other schools in Carlisle Schools’ Partnership at a recent joint school council meeting.

“The children’s main concern was that they don’t always know if something they eat or drink is sugar smart or not. They came up with the idea of using smiley faces that would easily show whether a food, drink or even a whole meal is sugar smart or just suitable for a treat. As a school our aim is to make our children more aware of hidden sugar in food and drink but a visible sign, such as the smiley faces the children came up with, would certainly make it easier.”

Carlisle City Council is also supporting the SUGAR SMART project, Carlisle City Cllr Lee Sherriff, Portfolio Holder for Communities, Health and Wellbeing, added: “Excessive consumption of sugary drinks and food can be a major cause of childhood obesity and dietary related ill-health, approximately 13% of Carlisle children are already obese when starting reception and this proportion almost doubles to approximately 21% when they leave primary school. Additionally 32% of five year olds in Carlisle have dental decay. Taking action to reduce sugar consumption at an early age is therefore vital to help prevent obesity and ensure good health. Launching SUGAR SMART in Carlisle means we can work together to make the district a healthier place for all residents and help individuals to make informed choices.”

Andrew Dodds, Director of Business Development & Marketing at Carlisle College, said: “We are delighted to be involved in and host the launch of the SUGAR SMART project. Not only by way of promoting healthy eating amongst students and reviewing the food offer at the College, but also providing a further community initiative for our students to get involved in which has included the creation of a sugar-free recipe book and a film to promote awareness.”

SUGAR SMART in Carlisle has been organised by Food Carlisle Partnership and is funded by Sustainable Food Cities, and the campaign support is coming from Sustain. SUGAR SMART Carlisle is part of a national SUGAR SMART project being delivered by similar food partnerships in cities, counties and districts across the UK, led by Sustain and Jamie Oliver.

Jamie Oliver said: “It’s brilliant to have Carlisle join the national network of SUGAR SMART campaigns. They’ll be joining us in raising awareness about the long-term damage too much sugar can have on our health, and empowering us all to reduce it in our diets. We’re facing a growing obesity crisis where one in three children are leaving primary school either overweight or obese, seriously increasing their chances of developing diet-related diseases, like type-2 diabetes, earlier in adult life. Eating nutritious food and getting regular exercise will help us all lead healthier and happier lives.”

Organisations that have signed up to the SUGAR SMART Carlisle Project include Carlisle City Council, Carlisle College, Carlisle Youth Council, Glenmore Trust, Phunkyfoods, MokyFit, iCan Health and Fitness, Cumberland FA and Barnardo’s. To find out how your school or organisation can get involved go to:

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