Children have already exceeded the maximum recommended sugar intake for an 18 year old by the time they reach their tenth birthday, according to Public Health England (PHE).
The figures are based on their total sugar consumption from the age of 2.
This figure comes as a new Change4Lifecampaign launches , supporting families to cut back on sugar and to help tackle growing rates of childhood obesity.
While children’s sugar intakes have declined slightly in recent years, they are still consuming around eoghr excess sugar cubes each day, equivalent to around 2,800 excess sugar cubes per year.
To help parents manage this, Change4Life is encouraging them to ‘Make a swap when you next shop’. Making simple everyday swaps can reduce children’s sugar intake from some products (yoghurts, drinks and breakfast cereals) by half – while giving them healthier versions of the foods and drinks they enjoy.
Severe obesity in 10 to 11 year olds has now reached an all-time high.
Overweight or obese children are more likely to be overweight or obese as adults, increasing their risk of heart disease and some cancers, while more young people than ever are developing Type 2 diabetes. Excess sugar can also lead to painful tooth decay, bullying and low self-esteem in childhood.
With a third of children leaving primary school overweight or obese, tackling obesity requires wider action and is not just limited to individual efforts from parents.
PHE is working with the food industry to remove 20% of sugar from the products contributing the most to children’s sugar intakes by 2020.
Dr Alison Tedstone, Chief Nutritionist at PHE, said:
Children are consuming too much sugar, but parents can take action now to prevent this building up over the years.