The Great Sugar Debate comes to Oxford


The Great Sugar Debate comes to Oxford

17 Nov 2017

Complete the online consultation by 15th January 2018.

Why sugar?

SSbike radcliffe cameraMany of us are consuming too much sugar, and this is increasing levels of tooth decay, obesity and Type 2 diabetes. The recommended daily intake of free sugar* is a maximum of 7 teaspoons for adults and 5-6 teaspoons for children. *Free Sugar is sugar added to food by the manufacturer or at home, as well as sugar naturally present in honey, syrups and fruit juices. It does not include sugar naturally present in milk, whole fruit and vegetables. SS drinks infographicOne soft drink may be two to three times this amount – a 330ml can of soft drink may contain 9 teaspoons of sugar and a 500ml bottle of soft drink may contain 13 teaspoons of sugar. In the UK, children are having three times as much sugar a day as the recommended amount. Adults are having twice as much. Sugar Obesity StatsIn Oxford, a third of children have tooth decay (worse than the national average). A third of Year 6 children are overweight. And half of adults are overweight. We need to make it easier for people to choose healthy options, starting with sugar! We’ve teamed up with the Jamie Oliver Food FoundationSustain and Sustainable Food Cities and are working in partnership across the city to look at what we can all do at home, in schools, in work and in shops, restaurants, cafés, vending machines and takeaways.

Have your say

Glass of waterJoin Oxford’s Great Sugar Debate! What should be done to improve the food and drinks environment in Oxford? Should free drinking water be more obviously available in cafés? Should canteens offer healthier options? Should restaurants provide a traffic light system on drinks? Or maybe there’s nothing that needs to be done? Pick up a Great Sugar Debate postcard at one of these locations: – St Aldates Chambers – Oxford Town Hall – County Hall – at community events around Oxford Then return it by FREEPOST to Oxford City Council. Or for a chance to win sugar-free prizes, complete the online consultation by 15th January 2018 – it will only take 5 minutes. The survey results will be used to shape the next phase of activity all around Oxford.

Information for businesses

Empty vending machineCould your café, canteen, restaurant, takeaway, vending machine or workplace be more SUGAR SMART? The focus of the campaign is sugary drinks but any healthy initiatives are really welcome. The business commitments we are proposing:
  • Make tap water more prominently available
  • Lower the proportion of sugary drinks on offer
  • Greater visibility of healthy drinks options
  • Traffic light system on drinks menus/shelves
  • 10p “sugar tax” on sugary drinks to go to a children’s health charity
We are looking for 10 flagship businesses to make at least one of the above commitments – if they make three they will be awarded a Sugar Smart “golden teaspoon”. Get in touch to get your business involved!


For children and families: find sugar facts, swaps and tips, and shop smart using the Change4Life Sugar Smart resources. Download the free Change4Life Food Smart app to find out how much sugar is in the food and drink your family consume every day. For adults: find out about sugars in our diets, tips to cut down, and labelling information on the NHS Choices website. You can also sign up for lots of free support, tips, ideas and recipes. For organisations: you can find further resources on the Public Health Promotion Resource Unit webpage.

Who’s involved?

Sustainable Food City Logo Cyan SmallGood Food Oxford Logo rotatedA project of Good Food OxfordOxford City CouncilOxfordshire County CouncilCommunity Dental Services OxfordshireOxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group and Oxfordshire Workplace Wellbeing Network. Find out more about Good Food Oxford.

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