A CAMPAIGN to reduce consumption of sugary drinks in Salford will launch in the city’s schools and colleges in 2018.

Give Up Loving Pop (GULP), which is part of Food Active, will work with students and support them to switch from their usual sugary pop to water or milk for four weeks.

Young people will learn about the health and financial benefits of this through assemblies and activities which will be delivered in school and in the community.

Charlotte Lee, works at the population health team Tameside Council, where the gulp programme was launched earlier this year.

Charlotte, explained: “We wanted to take GULP into the secondary schools because what we know is that as a population it our young adults who tend to drink sugary drinks.

“It was really interesting that these young people were picking up more on how their skin looked better and they felt more energetic, rather than them feeling healthier.”, she added.

She says the campaign has already found success in Tameside, stating: “To say that we’ve got 15% of the young people signed up to the campaign and to the challenge was brilliant. I’d like to raise that target if we were to do this in 2018.”

Parent, Michelle Jones, welcomed the campaign: “I have two children and both of them have suffered with tooth decay and had to have teeth extractions when they were younger.

“This was the result of letting them drink high sugar drinks. I had no idea about the amount of sugar they were having.

“It’s hard for me to tell them what not to drink, now they are in their teens, so the challenge being delivered in schools will be great.

“It won’t seem like I am nagging if the message is coming from other people as well. And It will be more fun if all their mates are doing it too.”

People who consume sugary drinks regularly (1-2 cans a day or more) have a 26% greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes than people who rarely consume sugary drinks. (gulp website)

While many people are aware of the negative impact that sugary drinks have on teeth, less people are aware of the link between the over consumption of sugary drinks and weight gain and the increased risk of diabetes 2 and heart disease.

A £1.5 million-pound action plan to improve children’s oral health in Oldham, Rochdale, Salford and Bolton was launched last month and aims to reduce the number of children aged five and under affected by tooth decay.

The budget will be allocated to prevention programmes such as supervised tooth brushing; toothbrush and toothpaste packs distributed via health visitors and dental practices and increased prevention messages.

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