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National Charity Partnership between Diabetes UK, the British Heart Foundation and Tesco shocked at sugar consumption of teenagers

New figures suggesting that teenagers drink the equivalent of almost a bath full of sugary drinks each year has been met with alarm by the National Charity Partnership, a partnership between Diabetes UK, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and Tesco.

“Our diets are too high in sugar and the weight gain associated with this increases our risk of conditions such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer, “ said Jenna Hall, programme director for the partnership. “We need to help teenagers and their families recognise this and make changes before their diets begin to take a toll on their health.”

Figures released by Cancer Research UK suggest those aged 11 to 18 each drink just over 234 cans of soft drink a year - or one bathtub full.

An unhealthy diet is known to increase the risk of serious conditions including Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. More people than ever are being diagnosed with these serious and potentially life threatening conditions, despite them being largely preventable.

Through its Let’s Do This campaign, the National Charity Partnership is actively working to tackle the rising rates of Type 2 diabetes and heart and circulatory disease and help people improve their lifestyles.

Ms. Hall continued: “Some progress has been made by both the Government and retailers – such as Tesco cutting sugar levels in its own brand soft drinks – but there is still more we can do. We’re working directly with families to help them eat healthier and improve their overall lifestyle to ultimately prevent further cases of Type 2 diabetes and heart and circulatory disease in the future.”

The new Cancer Research UK data was based on data from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey. It found that adults and young children currently consume twice the maximum recommended amount of added sugar and 11 to 18-year-olds eat and drink three times the recommended limit.

Cancer Research UK estimates that a 20p-per-litre sugar tax could prevent 3.7 million cases of obesity over the next decade.