‘Healthy Pupils Capital Programme’ (Sugar Tax funding) for schools
In March 2016 the government announced that a tax on sugary soft drinks would be introduced in the UK from 2018. The levy taxes soft drinks that have a total sugar content over 5g per 100ml and apply to drinks such as Coke, Red Bull etc.
The education secretary unveiled £415million has been put aside for ‘Healthy Pupils Capital Programme’ (Sugar Tax funding) for schools to invest in promoting Healthy lifestyles. Almost 1 million children have taken part in our Healthy Workshops, Fun Fitness and Alcohol & Drugs Awareness Sessions and we would love to visit your school to help teach these vital lessons to your pupils.
There’s always so much hype in the media about different diets and more recently sugar has been labelled as public enemy number one for its negative health effects, but let’s take a closer look at why it’s getting such a bad rap.
Firstly, there are lots of different types of sugar and they’re classed in two ways; free sugars and naturally occurring sugars. Free sugars are the ones that are added to sweeten food and drink and are also the ones found naturally in fruit juices, honey and syrups. Naturally occurring sugars are just that – they occur naturally in fruit and milk.
The UK government advises that adults and children over 11 years should have no more than 7 teaspoons of free sugars per day, whereas a child aged 4-6 should have no more than 5 teaspoons, and children aged 7-10 should have no more than 6 teaspoons.
The problem with free sugars, or added sugars, is that they cause a huge spike in blood sugar levels which can be detrimental on your health – this causes your insulin levels to spike which can lead to insulin resistance. Insulin has an important role to play in how sugars are used or stored in the body and when it’s no longer doing its job effectively it can lead to type 2 diabetes, a higher risk of heart disease, and excessive fat storage. Added sugars also feed the bad bacteria in your gut which can damage the intestinal wall, cause bloating, excess gas, an increase in bacterial infections and a weakened immune system.
Don’t go throwing all sugar out the window though! I’ve heard endless stories of people who go completely sugar free, and they scrap fruit too, but fruit is not all that bad, in fact it’s very good for us in moderation. The difference with fruit is that the naturally occurring sugar is contained alongside 5 essential nutrients; vitamins, minerals, fibre, water and antioxidants. Firstly, fibre slows digestion and so reduces that harmful spike in blood sugar levels. Also, the vitamins, minerals, water and antioxidants help the body to work properly and to protect against cellular damage.
Fruit juices are a tricky one – although they contain vitamins and minerals, most of the fibre removed in the juicing process and so they contain a lot of sugar with no fibre to slow down the digestion of it. Fruit juices are okay to have occasionally but it’s best to stick with just water to hydrate you and with whole fruits to get your sugar fix – don’t go overboard though, there is definitely such a thing as too much of a good thing!
Have a look at Sugar Smart campaign https://www.sugarsmartuk.org/
A-life is a leading provider of:
- Healthy Workshops
- Fun Fitness
- Alcohol & Drug Awareness
- Staff PE Training CPD
Almost 1 million children have taken part in our Healthy Workshops, Fun Fitness and Alcohol & Drugs Awareness Sessions and we would love to visit your school to help teach these vital lessons to your pupils.
Our workshops provide a brilliant hook for your health topic or Healthy Schools week, with our superb range of resources and activities that bring the curriculum to life for your pupils in a way that wouldn’t be possible in the classroom. They are packed full of curriculum and fun! The hands-on, multi-sensory activities are accessible for all ages and abilities and have been carefully designed to meet and expand upon many objectives in the Science, PE and PSHE curriculum. With 15 years’ experience and expert coaches, we consistently receive outstanding feedback from staff and pupils alike. Check us out.. be impressed…