Shropshire students get ‘sugar smart’ for Diabetes Week

News from Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group

With Diabetes Week upon us, students at a Shropshire school have been challenged to be ‘sugar smart’ when it comes what they eat.

Shropshire’s Young Health Champions visited the Community College in Bishop’s Castle to deliver a series of interactive workshops, designed to get students thinking about diabetes.

Students learned about the different types of diabetes and the symptoms linked to the condition. They also took part in the Young Health Champions’ ‘Supermarket Sweep’ – where students had to guess which food items contained the highest amount of sugar.

Students were also taught about food labelling, and what their recommended daily amount of sugar looks like in sugar cubes. For children over the age of 11, the recommended daily amount of sugar is 30g (1oz) – about 8 sugar cubes. They were surprised to learn that some of the most popular soft drinks contain at least that amount per can, if not more.

The visit coincided with Diabetes Week (12-18 June), which aims to raise awareness of the condition which affects an estimated 3.5 million people across the UK.

Shropshire Young Health Champion Erica Richards, 16, is a Year 11 student at the Community College Bishop’s Castle. She said: “All the students really enjoyed the session at the Community College. With Diabetes Week upon us, it was a great time to speak to other young people about type 2 diabetes, and what we can all do to reduce the risk of developing it. The workshops were really fun and it was good to see my peers responding so well.  I hope we can do more of these sessions in the near future.”

The workshops follow on from the Young Health Champions successful ‘Diabeat it’ project, which aims to make young people in the county more aware of the dangers of type 2 diabetes.

Last year, the group also teamed up with rap artist Leo Golden Child to write and produce ‘The Dia-BEAT-it Shuffle’, a song and dance that encouraged young people to ’shake and shuffle’ more to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The Young Health Champions’ effort can be viewed below:

Karen Higgins, Young Health Champions Project Manager said: “Our Young Health Champions are great at getting the message across and engaging with their peers. There was clearly a lot of enthusiasm from the students at the Community College and it was encouraging to see how much they already knew about the causes of type 2 diabetes. The session will also be delivered in Craven Arms and Market Drayton”

Alan Doust, Headteacher at the Community College, said: “Our students responded very well to these fun and interactive workshops. The fact that it is young people who are driving this project really makes a difference and it has certainly given our pupils food for through in terms of the amount of sugar they consume.”

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