News / Children's Food Campaign

Desserts for breakfast? Sugar Awareness Week 2022

Sugar Awareness Week 2022 runs from 14-20 November and this year the focus is all on breakfast. Action on Sugar delves into the world of commercial breakfasts to see how far the 'most important meal of the day' is being used to sell us even more puddings and desserts.

Sugar breakfast. Credit: Tiago Pereira | Pexels

Sugar breakfast. Credit: Tiago Pereira | Pexels

Breakfast provides us with a great opportunity to start our day consuming a variety of essential nutrients. Unfortunately, commercial breakfasts such as cereals, pancakes, jams, yogurts, pastries and even porridges are often high in free sugars.

Despite nutritional guidance to avoid sugar up to the age of two years old, new Action on Sugar research for Sugar Awareness Week uncovered some baby rice and breakfast pouches with free sugars equivalent to four teaspoons per portion. Companies misleadingly label products as "no added sugars" or "only naturally occurring sugars", when they still free sugars contained in fruit juices, concentrates and purees, which are still harmful for dental health. Children's Food Campaign supports the calls for new nutritional and labelling rules for foods and drinks targetted at babies and young children. 

Read our new guest blog by Mhairi Brown: Making the baby food aisle a safe space

Sugar Awareness Week is organised by Action on Sugar, a member of Sustain and the Children's Food Campaign. In 2022, the campaign is using the week to:

  • Urge the food industry to reduce levels of sugar in the breakfast products they sell and provide healthier options
  • Encourage all schools and nurseries to offer low sugar, nourishing breakfast options
  • Promote some tasty and healthy breakfast recipes we can make at home 

 Children's Food Campaign Co-ordinator Barbara Crowther says:

“All children deserve a healthy start in life, and a healthy start to every day.

Children’s Food Campaign is proud to be a supporter and partner of Sugar Awareness Week 2022. This year it’s throwing an important spotlight on the importance of a good and nutritious breakfast as fuel for learning and healthy development.

Some companies have made huge progress in removing excess sugar from their cereals, but overall the food and drink industry is still pouring far too much sugar into our diets at breakfast time, and we need the whole industry to be properly regulated so that healthy business becomes the best way to do business.”

The Sugar Awareness Week campaign also takes looks at the future for sugar reduction and nutrition policy, now that the voluntary programme has come to an end and key initiatives such as the promotions and multi-buy restrictions have been delayed.

With Sugar Awareness Week falling in the same week that the new Chancellor (and former Health Secretary) Jeremy Hunt presents a fiscal statement aimed at stabilising our economy, Children's Food Campaign's new blog is pointing to the success of the Soft Drinks Industry Levy in removing sugar from products, reducing consumption, as well as generating hundreds of millions of pounds each year - money that could be used for children's health. We offer five reasons why the Chancellor should champion the Levy and also consider how this model could be applied to other food and drink for the future. 

Read Action on Sugar's Baby and Toddler Breakfasts report

Get involved in Sugar Awareness Week

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Published 10 Nov 2022

Children's Food Campaign: Better food and food teaching for children in schools, and protection of children from junk food marketing are the aims of Sustain's high-profile Children's Food Campaign. We also want clear food labelling that can be understood by everyone, including children.

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