Fight fillings and flab with Fizz Free February

1 February 2018

Make the #gofizzfree pledge and give up fizzy drinks this February.

Thursday 1 February marks the start of the first Fizz Free February campaign that encourages all residents, and especially children, to give up fizzy drinks for 28 days.

Through this campaign, Southwark Council aims to raise awareness of the health implications of drinking fizzy drinks which often contain high amounts of sugar. Making up an average of 29 per cent of daily sugar intake, fizzy drinks are the largest single source of sugar for children aged 11-18.

Locally, a survey of Southwark primary and secondary school pupils found that almost one third of them reported having sweets or non-diet fizzy drinks on most days.

Southwark also has some of the highest rates of obesity in the country; 47 per cent of all adults and 43 per cent of children in year 6 are classified as being overweight or obese.

Fizz Free February is a great way to reduce your sugar intake by cutting out fizzy drinks and by going fizz free for all of February, it can help you on your way to drinking less sugary drinks for the rest of the year.

To join in, just pledge to give up fizzy drinks for 28 days and tweet us using #gofizzfree. You can also take part by signing up on our website where you can fill out a short survey telling us about your fizzy drink habits.

The hard truth about soft drinks:

  • You can save £438 a year if you stopped drinking one bottle of soft drink, per day for a year
  • Drinking just one 330ml can of fizzy drink a day could add up to over a stone weight gain per year
  • 79% of fizzy drinks contain 6 or more teaspoons of sugar per can (330ml)
  • Tooth decay is the leading cause for hospitalisation among 5-9 year olds in the UK, with 26,000 children being hospitalised each year due to tooth decay – in other words, 500 each week

For more reasons why you should quit fizzy drinks visit the Fizz Free February webpage.

Cllr Maisie Anderson, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Social Regeneration said: “This month we are proud to be launching Fizz Free February and I hope that all residents will take up the challenge to swap their fizzy drink for something less sugary and calorific. I especially want to appeal to parents and carers to encourage their children to go fizz free as sugar can have very serious, but very preventable effects, on the health of young people. A healthy lifestyle is about more than just kicking your taste for fizzy, high sugar drinks, but it’s a good place to start.”

The British Dental Association’s scientific adviser, Professor Damien Walmsley, said: “Having a Fizz-Free February is fantastic for your teeth and is one of the cheapest ways to help ensure a healthy smile. Consuming too many fizzy drinks is rotting our teeth, as well as piling on the pounds, but the ‘diet’ version is no less damaging to teeth.  These are highly acidic and over time will wear away the surface of the teeth.  Fizzy drinks are by far the biggest factor in causing dental erosion among teenagers.”

Sarah Hickey, the Child Obesity Programme Director at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity, said: “Evidence shows that making small and sustained changes to your diet can help in achieving and keeping a healthy weight. Removing sugary drinks is a good step in the right direction. As a health foundation working to reduce the high rates of child obesity in Southwark and Lambeth, we are looking at joint solutions with everyone – from our local authorities to our schools and shops – to help families and children keep healthier diets and exercise more.”

Ben Reynolds, Deputy CEO of Sustain commented: “This is a timely initiative from Southwark Council, as more and more local areas around the country are stepping up their work on reducing sugar consumption. With tooth decay as the number one reason for children’s hospital admissions and one in three children now obese or overweight, any attempts to help people cut down on sugar should be encouraged. As soft drinks are the single largest contributors of sugar in a child’s diet, this is a great place to focus attention.” 

Page last updated: 01 February 2018