App launch in Havant teaches parents about healthy foods

From left, Jeremy Speed, health and wellbeing programme manager for Public Health England south east, with event organiser Greg Wainwright and brand ambassador Abigail MacLennan
From left, Jeremy Speed, health and wellbeing programme manager for Public Health England south east, with event organiser Greg Wainwright and brand ambassador Abigail MacLennan
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FAMILIES were given advice and tips on how to be healthier at the launch of a new mobile app.

Created by Public Health England and its Change4Life campaign, the app allows parents to see how much sugar, saturated fat and salt is in a product.

The team from Change4Life were at the Meridian Centre in Havant yesterday to show people how to use the app and had well-known items on display to show how healthy or unhealthy they were.

Called Be Food Smart, parents can scan barcodes of any food and it uses a traffic light system to show the levels of salt, sugar and saturated fat.

Jeremy Speed, health and wellbeing programme manager for Public Health England south east, said the idea was about encouraging parents to be involved in what their children are eating.

‘We don’t want to tell families they have to stop eating certain foods,’ he said.

For some of them, children are eating their daily sugar allowance before they go to school.

Jeremy Speed

‘We want to simply show what is in the products so they can eat them in moderation.

‘For some of them, children are eating their daily sugar allowance before they go to school.’

Parents were interested in the app and knowing what food products are unhealthy.

Mum-of-two Danni James, from Leigh Park, said: ‘It is good the app shows how much sugar is in a portion rather than just the entire package.

‘It’s an easy way to monitor what the kids are eating.’

Grandmother Jenny Brown added: ‘I like the traffic light system and it is surprising to see how unhealthy some stuff is.’

As previously reported in The News, obesity levels for children in Havant are high. Figures from Public Health England show 22.7 per cent of four to five-year-olds are overweight or obese, increasing to 31.9 per cent in 10 to 11-year-olds.

The app can be downloaded on to any mobile device. Visit nhs.uk/change4life-beta/be-food-smart.