Make yourself aware of the hidden sugars in food with this clever NHS app.

Everyone enjoys a sweet treat from time to time, but according to some doctors, sugar is as addictive as crack cocaine and almost as bad for our health, leading to Type 2 Diabetes, childhood obesity, heart disease and cancer. And yet, we still eat far too much of it.

Unfortunately, it’s not just that 4 p.m raid on the biscuit tin that we need to knock on the head. It’s the hidden sugars, added to healthier-sounding packaged products such as salad-dressing, pasta sauce and yoghurt, as well as ‘diet’ food and soft drinks, that need to go too.

Of course, checking labels for sugar (especially if you are people-managing small children in the cereal aisle) is a faff, so it’s well worth downloading Change4Life SugarSmart app.

Launched last year, this free to download app from the NHS tells users the sugar content of food and drink in a very visual way, spelling it out that, yes, that packet of Giant Chocolate Buttons you were about to reach for actually contains 14 cubes of sugar. Yikes.

The app is brilliantly easy and quick to use. Simply scan the barcode of products as you shop to reveal the total sugar content in cubes or grams of whatever it is you were thinking of buying. Knowledge is power and if you know how much sugar that “kids” yoghurts, “diet juices” and “healthy” snacks actually contain, you may just think twice about buying them.

June 2017