Getting smart with sugar

Everyone’s talking about it: Change4Life’s new free Sugar Smart app, designed to help educate children and parents in avoiding the hidden sugars that can be found in so many of your cupboard and fridge goodies.

We’re all eating too much sugar. The recommended daily maximum amounts of added sugar, in sugar cubes of 4g each, are:
4-6 year-olds – five sugar cubes
7-10 year-olds – six sugar cubes
11+ year-olds – seven sugar cubes


Excessive sugar consumption can lead to obesity and tooth decay. According to Public Health England, in 2013, one-third of 5-year-olds and almost half of 8-year-olds had decay in their milk teeth, with tooth decay also found in 34% and 46% of 12 and 15-year-olds respectively.

“We are eating too much sugar, and it is bad for our health. Consuming too many foods and drinks high in sugar can lead to weight gain and related health problems, as well as tooth decay. Almost 25% of adults, 10% of 4 to 5-year-olds and 19% of 10 to 11-year-olds in England are obese, with significant numbers also being overweight. Treating obesity and its consequences alone currently costs the NHS £5.1bn every year.” – Public Health England, Evidence For Action October 2015

This easy-to-use app is well designed, engaging and fun to use for both children and adults. Once you download it for iOS or Android, it walks you through a simple step-by-step guide of how to use it and requests access to use your phone’s camera – and then you can get scanning straight away!

It can tell you immediately the overall pack sugar content (measured in 4g sugar cubes), 100g content and portion size content, where available, for over 75,000 everyday food and drink products. They are working on adding more products every day.


Children love the fun, colourful design, and lots of fun can be had raiding cupboards to scan more products!

To start off, we picked out a few random items from our kitchen and were impressed with how clearly the information was communicated and also shocked at the results. It’s so easy to scan and compare similar products to make sure that you are choosing the best option for your family’s health. It has quickly become an essential app for everyone here at Moira Wong Orthodontics and our shopping trips will never be the same again. Highly recommended.

Moira Wong Orthodontics provides specialist children’s (paediatric) dental services and children’s orthodontics.