Sugar Smart Exeter

Do you really want to be Sugar Smart?

Here's a good place to start.......

Earlier this week I attended an event at Exeter City Football Club to celebrate the success of Sugar Smart in Exeter. If you haven't yet heard of Sugar Smart, it's an initiative set up by Jamie Oliver and Sustain to help us reduce our sugar intake. There are Sugar Smart campaigns all over the country but the South West in particular has taken the 'bit between it's teeth' so to speak and the campaign is flying high. Since it's inception about 18 months ago, Sugar Smart Exeter has grown considerably, so much is the enthusiasm of so many people wanting to get involved that it has now become Sugar Smart Devon. It's not about being "Sugar Police" or cutting out sugar completely but about educating the local community and suggesting ways that we can all reduce our sugar intake on a daily basis. As a dental practice we recognise the harm that sugar does to your teeth but it's not just your teeth that you should be concerned about. Again and again we hear about how much harm sugar is doing to our bodies and the shocking news this week that the number of young people in the UK with type 2 diabetes has rocketed - up 41% in 4 years, is frightening. Two of the major risk factors of type 2 diabetes are poor diet (including too much sugar) and lack of exercise, both of which are lifestyle changes we can all make. Diabetes is linked to gum disease and can lead to blindness, heart disease, kidney failure and limb amputation - why would you want to do that to your body?

The 80+ local Ambassadors trained by Sugar Smart are trying to spread the word to help local authorities, organisations, workplaces and individuals to reduce the amount of sugar we all consume, so anyone can pledge to become SUGAR SMART – from councils and schools to restaurants, hospitals and independent companies. But how?

A really good place to start is getting involved in  Sugar Smart September - follow the link to find all the information you need. There are 4 challenges from the No Spoons option which involves completely cutting out sugar to the Easing In option which is cutting out sugar during working hours. I tried going the whole hog last year and cutting out sugar completely from my diet but sadly I fell off the wagon after about 2 weeks. This time I am being slightly less gung-ho and going for the Healthy Balance Option which involves completely avoiding sugar during the week with only moderate treats at the weekend. I'll be posting regularly on our Facebook page to let you know how I'm getting on and I'd love you to join me.

Here's a final thought that perhaps might encourage you to become more Sugar Smart....whilst we were at the Sugar Smart celebration (and my youngest daughter was winning the Reduced Sugar Bake Off with her Lemon, Coconut and Chai seed biscuits - Well Done Hermione!), Krispy Kreme Doughnuts were opening their new outlet in the Guildhall Centre and rewarding those people who had arrived there at 7am to be first in the queue with £100 vouchers to spend on their products. How sad is that?

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Alice Long
Alice Long
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