SUGAR SMART Hackney launch celebrates trailblazer healthy schools

The latest London borough to join SUGAR SMART launched its sugar reduction campaign at Urswick Secondary School, which has transformed its food culture for the sake of students' health.

The SUGAR SMART Hackney launch was supported by Angela Church, a former resturant chef turned head chef at Mandeville Primary School, and local Cllr Jonathan McShane, Cabinet Member for Health, Social Care and Devolution, Hackney Council, who presented certificates to schools and community groups who are taking action as part of the campaign.

Cllr McShane said:

Excessive consumption of sugary drinks and food can be a major cause of childhood obesity. 1 in 7 children are already obese when starting reception and this almost doubles to 1 in 4 when they leave primary school. Launching SUGAR SMART in Hackney means we can work together to make the borough a healthier place for all residents.

Richard Brown, Headteacher at Urswick Secondary School, highlighted their efforts to offer students a healthier food environment:

We have banned all soft drinks, sweets and confectionery at the school as these can be major sources of sugar for children and adolescents which is also bad for their health. We also provide free school meals for all students to help provide the foundation for educational achievement.

Children from local schools also announced their pledges to cut down their sugar consumption at the event, while Made in Hackney and Cordwainers Grow ran creative activities themed around sugar reduction. Mandeville's head chef Angela and her team provided healthy snack tasters to showcase that school food can be delicious and nutritious.

The SUGAR SMART Hackney campaign is jointly led by Hackney Food Partnership and Hackney Council.

SUGAR SMART is a campaign of Sustain and Jamie Oliver. This is the feature campaign of the Sustainable Food Cities network until mid-2018.

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Sustain advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, promote equity and enrich society and culture.