Raising awareness of reducing sugar in our diets

Health promotion lead in main outpatients at the University Hospital of North Tees Lisa Tomlinson has set up her second health promotion topic after receiving such a great response first time round. 

Lisa said ‘’ Each month I will focus on a new topic, the response from the cervical screening awareness was fantastic and I decided to focus my second health promotion on a topic that is quite prominent in today’s news and media, sugar.

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‘’ The trusts community dental team have provided me with a lot of promotional items from posters and leaflets to free samples. Samples included toothpaste and promotional wrist bands which are proving so popular I have to refill my stock multiple times a day!

‘’The support and guidance from other departments has been great, they are always approachable and willing to help. I’ve been working closely with Oral health promotion advisor Marie Burgum who highly promotes the NHS sugar smart app.

Marie said ‘’ reducing sugar in our diets is vitally important, especially for children. Not only will this help prevent tooth decay it also can also reduce the risk of harmful diseases in the future such as weight gain, type two diabetes, heart disease and even certain types of cancer.

‘’It’s easy for children to consume too much sugar these days as fizzy drinks and sweets are so easily accessible, the sugar smart app is great as it allows you to easily scan any product and see how much sugar it contains and maybe encourage you to choose an alternative with less sugar content.’’

Lisa told us how the health promotion board is serving its purpose, she explained ‘’patients in the waiting area are taking and reading our items and even approaching us to ask questions. We think it’s great to use the outpatient waiting area as a way of promoting good health and wellbeing to the general public.

‘’ I have placed some food packages on the table and invited people to download the sugar smart app and scan items to see how much sugar they contain, this has gone down well with parents with children as it’s a fun but educational game. It’s great to see the impact such a simple display is having.’’

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