In our recent blog about sweeteners, we quoted Professor Tim Lang of Food Policy at City University of London as saying (about a recent study on the potential harm of artificial sweeteners) “The global health advice is to reduce sugar intake, yet much of the food industry – especially soft drinks – maintains the sweetness by substituting artificial sweeteners. Millstone and Dawson (authors of the study) help expose that strategy for what it is, a continued sweetening of the world’s diet. The healthy strategy is surely to tackle the cultural reinforcement of sweetness and to encourage less sweet foods and drinks, full stop. Surely we now argue: reduce both sugar and artificial alternatives.”
That “continued sweetening of the world’s diet” is largely responsible for the almost 50% increase in incidence of Type 2 diabetes in children, over the last five years, reported recently by the Local Government Association (LGA) 
Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: “Childhood obesity is one of the biggest public health challenges we face and these figures are yet another sad indictment of how we have collectively failed as a society to tackle it. It is extremely worrying that we are seeing more young people develop Type 2 diabetes, a condition which is rare in children and more typically develops in adults over the age of 40.”
Diabetic children, and often their parents, are failing to appreciate that diabetes is a serious illness which can lead to blindness, amputation, cardiovascular disease, cancer and cognitive decline. In the last 8 years, the number of diabetes-related amputations has risen by 25% resulting in 9000 amputations last year alone!
The LGA’s report also stated that 22.000 children are severely obese by the time they leave primary school!
Additional statistics revealed in a Green Paper by The Department of Health and Social Care – “Advancing our health: prevention in the 2020’s” gives the following depressing figures:
“For every child born in 2019, 23% will be overweight or obese by the time they stat school, 61% will be overweight or obese by the time they are 21”.
If you have children, it is really important to review their diet, and remove as much sugar and artificial sweeteners as possible from their diet.