Michelin-starred West Midlands chef Glynn Purnell encourages region’s kids to get ‘Sugar Smart’

News from Public Health England

Award-winning chef goes back to Bishop Wilson Primary to show kids at his former school how to cut back on sugar, with the help of Change4Life

This January (2016), a new Change4Life campaign is encouraging families to get ‘Sugar Smart’ and take control of the amount of sugar they consume. It follows revelations that 4-to 10-year-olds consume the average weight of a five-year-old in sugar, that’s 22kg or more than 5,500 sugar cubes.,

Award-winning West Midlands chef Glynn Purnell is supporting the campaign to encourage children to learn about the amount of sugar in everyday food and drinks. Owner and head chef of Michelin starred Purnell’s restaurant and Purnell’s Bistro in Birmingham, the ‘Yummy Brummie’ now lives with his young family in Warwickshire, but originally hails from Chelmsley Wood in Solihull – where he will be taking part in a special lesson with Year 4 pupils at his former school, Bishop Wilson CofE Primary School in Solihull on Thursday 21 January 2016, to show them some easy-to-prepare low sugar snacks.

The lesson complements the current ‘Food Detectives’ Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 lesson plans, which are being provided to primary school teachers across the region, via the School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme, to highlight to children how much sugar is in everyday food and drink. Five million Sugar Smart packs will be given away to primary age children and their families via schools, local authorities and retailers.

A new Sugar Smart app has been launched to help parents see how much sugar there is in everyday food and drink. The free app works by scanning the barcode of products and revealing the amount of total sugar it contains in cubes and grams.

The Change4Life Sugar Smart campaign aims to warn both children and parents about the health harms from eating and drinking too much sugar. A fifth of four- to five-year-olds and a third of 10- to 11-year-olds are overweight or obese. This means they are more likely to become obese adults who are prone to a range of life-threatening health problems, such as heart disease, some cancers and Type 2 diabetes. There are now 2.5 million people suffering from Type 2 diabetes, 90% of whom are overweight or obese.,

Michelin starred chef and father of three, Glynn Purnell said:

As a lover of good food and a dad, reducing sugar consumption is something I’m passionate about, so I’m really pleased to support the new Change4Life Sugar Smart campaign. I think it’s incredibly important to not only highlight the harms of eating too much sugar, but also to show children low sugar options that they’ll really enjoy.

My cooking is all about good ingredients cooked well – and I want people to know that a dish can be full of flavour and delicious while still being very healthy. My mum Patricia was one of my inspirations for becoming a chef; I used to watch her in the kitchen at home, and she still works at my old school, Bishop Wilson Primary, as Senior Lunchtime Supervisor. I hope I can inspire the youngsters at my old school and across the region to choose healthier foods and to realise there are lots of delicious things to eat that aren’t full of sugar.

Headteacher of Bishop Wilson C of E Primary School, Jon Kirk said:

We’re delighted to welcome our former pupil Glynn Purnell back to Bishop Wilson Primary School, to engage the children on how to eat less sugar. We all know that children can eat too much sugar so it’s great that this campaign offers helpful tips for parents and all of us on how to cut down. The new ‘Food Detectives’ lesson plans provide a great way of getting children thinking about how much sugar is in the everyday food and drink we all consume. By teaching them about sugar consumption at a young age, we hope that they will get into good habits which will set them up for life.

For further information about the Change4Life Sugar Smart campaign, please contact Change4LifePressOffice@freuds.com / out of hours 0208 200 4400.

Source: Public Health England

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