Scientific experts have urged the Government to halve the current recommended intake of free sugars in food and drink
A report by the Scientific Adivsory Committee on Nutrition said that free sugars should account for no more than 5% of daily energy consumption. That is the equivalent of five sugar cubes for children aged seven to 10.
It also said a major reduction in sugar would help cut the risk of obesity and improve dental health.
And that drinking sugar-sweetened beverages like fizzy drinks, soft drinks and squash should be cut by both children and adults.
A can of fizzy drink has more than the recommended daily amount of sugar for children under 11.
Professor Ian Macdonald, chairman of the SACN Carbohydrates and Health working group, said: “The evidence is stark – too much sugar is harmful to health and we all need to cut back.
“The clear and consistent link between a high-sugar diet and conditions like obesity and type 2 diabetes is the wake-up call we need to rethink our diet.
“Cut down on sugars, increase fibre and we’ll all have a better chance of living longer, healthier lives.”
The government says it will use the suggestions in its future strategy on childhood obesity.
The British Medical Association has backed the idea of a sugar tax but that is not something ministers say will be pushed through.