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The change for life reduce sugar campaign is irritating me

(163 Posts)
Hurr1cane Mon 19-Jan-15 17:28:22

Fair enough change sugary cereals for less sugary ones like porridge, but it depends what type of porridge clearly.

Fair enough change chocolate bars for rice cakes... But again... It depends what type, some are full of salt and sugar.

But change cordial for sugar free cordial? Really? I make an effort to make sure I only buy cordial with sugar in and not asphartemine, horrible stuff that sends DS completely high. But to be honest I'd much rather replace with watered down fruit juice or even just water, the cordial is only used for a treat or when he's poorly and I need to get fluids down him, but I never ever use sugar free.

It just seems like pointless, vague, bad advice, and yes all children in DSs school were given the full packs.

I'm probably being unreasonable because of how badly DS reacts to that particular sweetner, but the pharmacist tells me that isn't a rare thing at all, and the sweetner is in all the calpol type medicines instead of sugar, which means DS is either poorly and having seizures, or completely high and giving himself seizures, so the advice for sugar free cordial really pissed me off.

I am being aren't I?

ThinkIveBeenHacked Mon 19-Jan-15 17:31:34

Im another one who hates artificial sweetener in stuff. I joined Slimming World recently and most of their "treat" stuff recommended is stuffed with aspartame etc.

It drives me potty when SIL etc go on about giving their kids sugar free this and that and I just want to say "but what have they shoved into it instead?!"

I operate generally on a full fat/sugar version of everything and just have less of it.

Everyone I know who drinks Diet Coke crave the stuff. And drink numerous cans a day. That is because of aspartame.

MrsPear Mon 19-Jan-15 17:32:48

No i agree. What really winds me up is the contradictions. With the low fat campaign they tell you to give your children the low fat diet foodsinstead and what do they tend to be full of - sugar!

Why don't they just run adverts to say cut out the processed crap and learn to cook?

BeCool Mon 19-Jan-15 17:34:23


Not to mention my dc get most of their sugar from school who then give me lectures on healthy eating! Which of course advises to switch to artificially sweetened products


madhairday Mon 19-Jan-15 17:36:59


I hoped that Change4Life would have caught up with more recent research this year and recommended full fat/sugar but in moderation. But it seems they're still peddling the same outdated crap as ever. Butter to low fat margarine - do they know what goes into those things? Children are growing and need full fat, natural foods. And when grown still need the same - it's amounts that need to change in some cases, not foods, especially when it comes to natural foods/fats/sugars.

As for aspartame, we avoid it as it aggravates dd's psoriasis dreadfully. I can tell some don't believe me about this, they haven't seen her crying with the pain, itching and bleeding after mistakenly drinking sugar free squash rather than normal squash. Evil stuff.

Bunbaker Mon 19-Jan-15 17:38:45

I agree. It is either sugar or no sugar in the bunbaker household, not sugar substitutes which only encourage a sweet tooth anyway and don't help to curb sweet cravings.

IMO artificial sweeteners should be banned in children's foods.

Threesoundslikealot Mon 19-Jan-15 17:42:06

Change4Life is all about vile artificial substitute foods. I'm constantly having to correct my child's comments on the food we eat as he has been taught rubbish about nutrition.

Last time I was pregnant, I agreed to take part in an NHS healthy eating in pregnancy programme as I was overweight. I ended up complaining to the head of the programme as it was very similar, telling me to turn to high sugar 'diet' food at every turn.

SunnyBaudelaire Mon 19-Jan-15 17:44:52

Aspartame is vile, oddly we were talking about this last time that stupid patronising ad about squash n pops on. Luckily my kids have been taught to sniff it out and not have it.

Gawjushun Mon 19-Jan-15 17:45:10

Ugh yeah, I hated Slimming World's sweet treat selection. I remember telling the group leader that I didn't like Muller Lights and she was shocked! Sorry, yoghurt to me is supposed to be rich and creamy, not whipped up skimmed milk packed with sweeteners.

I'm lucky really that DS loves water, and apart from milk at bedtime, that's the main thing he wants to drink. I also find that sugar free squash and diet drinks just aren't thirst quenching. Maybe the sweeteners make me thirstier?

MamaLazarou Mon 19-Jan-15 17:46:14

YANBU. Sweeteners produce insulin reactions the same as sugar does. It's not a healthy alternative to sugar: there isn't one.

chemenger Mon 19-Jan-15 17:47:18

Add me to the haters, we have nothing "sugar free" as in full of sweeteners in our house because it all tastes vile (except Coke life which is OK). All things in moderation seems a more sensible approach. Sugar free Calpol was the one I found most stupid (long past Calpol days now). Surely the odd spoon of sugary medicine was not going to cause either obesity or instantaneous dental meltdown and, as the song goes, "A spoon full of sugar, rather than aspartame, makes the medicine go down because it tastes nicer," or it would say that if I had written it.

I am old enough to have lived through eggs are good for you, eggs are bad for you, eggs are good for you again eras as well as phases of all fat is bad, some fat is bad, some fat is good, some fat is really bad, fibre is good, fibre gives you cancer, fibre stops you getting cancer, carbs are good, carbs are bad etc etc.. I will ignore this latest fad for no sugar and carry on as before safe in the knowledge that 5 years on it will all change again...

painting2014 Mon 19-Jan-15 17:48:21

This campaign also riles me, couldn't agree more with you. I hate the idea that kids/families are getting this misinformation about switching to sugar free and low fat.

I think eating a small amount of actual sugar (in things you expect to find it in so occasional cake, ice cream, juice etc) as well as the natural sugars in real ingredients like milk, fruit etc is fine. Lots of sugar is no good obviously.

However added sugar is a wall to wall feature in so many foodstuffs it is hard to avoid it in any trip to the supermarket for instance. You need to avoid many aisles/areas altogether. Savoury foods are just as guilty of added sugar.

I don't think that the vast majority of foods in the supermarket should feature the assorted added sugars (especially as there are many different types that are not always as obvious as the simple word 'sugar') but I don't agree that the 'sugar free' products are the answer.

The rubbish sugar is replaced with in the 'sugar free' equivalent is no better and I believe far worse.

tobysmum77 Mon 19-Jan-15 17:48:47

yabu to conclude artificial sweeteners are worse than sugar. Of course water is best but sugar in drinks is to be avoided.

Hurr1cane Mon 19-Jan-15 17:50:14

Oh good at least it's not only me. When school sent home the pack today it gave me the rage, I have much more important things to be bothered about in life with a disabled child but this seems to make me unreasonable angry for some reason grin

Mrsjayy Mon 19-Jan-15 17:50:29

My dds are grown ups well 1 almost I have always avoided sugar free drinks id rather they had a little full sugar than loads of no added rubbish they are fit healthy and not obese meh I can't stand these sort of diet fads the tv is full of it must be this years thing!

Bunbaker Mon 19-Jan-15 17:50:34

"sugar in drinks is to be avoided"

And so is artificial sweetener.

madhairday Mon 19-Jan-15 17:52:03

Mind you when you look at their list of sponsors inluding things like Nestle, Danone and Kelloggs then you may not perhaps be so surprised at the 'advice' hmm

Mrsjayy Mon 19-Jan-15 17:53:12

Diet drinks make me have a weird fluttering in my chest pepsi max is the worst for it

HelloItsStillMeFell Mon 19-Jan-15 17:53:34

I think it's a tough call between sugar and aspartame. It's whichever is the lesser of two evils, and that really depends on your viewpoint. If you or your child leans towards being overweight then I'd take my chances with the aspartame, if just drinking plain water is out of the question. If you have no weight issues and you want to avoid carcinogenic chemicals then pick the sugar. Neither is ideal, but the effects of too much sugar will be very evident very quickly and you are far more likely to be fat and diabetic from too much sugar than you are to get cancer from the aspartame, I would imagine.

SunnyBaudelaire Mon 19-Jan-15 17:54:10

"yabu to conclude artificial sweeteners are worse than sugar."

of course they are worse than sugar! for a start as MamaL said they fool the body into thinking it is having sugar and so cause an insulin surge, but with nothing to deal with.
For another thing they make the heart race and seem to make small children hyper.

Ohwhatfuckeryisthis Mon 19-Jan-15 17:54:18

In my day (gimmer emoticon) what Madhair said was the norm. Pop was for high days and holidays. A bar of chocolate was shared over a week (not every week) between me, mum and dad. Marge was for baking with, butter went on bread. We ate chips!Yes we went out and played a lot. But lots of the foods that are eaten everyday were either unheard of or an exotic treat.
Childhood obesity was rare and I can't remember one kid in my class with eczema (I was the lone asthmatic)
Everything in moderation.(apart from artificial sweetners which are a crime against taste)

Hurr1cane Mon 19-Jan-15 17:54:38

DS isn't overweight at all by the way, in fact he is underweight because he's always on the go, even though he eats more than I do (albeit good stuff) I know I'm quite lucky that he will eat pretty much anything, but still, some porridges aimed at children are still as full of sugar as 'sugary cereals' and the pack doesn't explain this at all. So parents could well be thinking 'well I'll buy this porridge that they hate because it's better for them' when really it's just as shit.

Runningupthathill82 Mon 19-Jan-15 17:56:03

YANBU. A close friend of mine actually works on that campaign and she fucking hates it too.
She did point out that sugar-free soft drinks are full of craps, and was told that the campaign was designed as it was, as its thought that people can only take small steps Eg/ may shift from fizzy pop to diet fizz, but won't shift to water.
The campaign is bollocks imo, but apparently its aimed at a very specific audience who wouldn't shift from, say, Frosties to muesli.
I find that bloody patronising, but that's why the campaign is what it is.

SaucyJack Mon 19-Jan-15 17:56:49

There was an advert on the radio earlier about switching your usual cereal to PLAIN Weetabix or PLAIN porridge to save yourself two whole cubes of sugar every day.

Sounded like a really tasty and appetising way to improve your health and quality of life. Said no one ever.

SoonToBeMrsB Mon 19-Jan-15 17:58:21


That's exactly why I didn't last on SW. I eat full fat dairy, nuts, avocado, etc but SW punishes you for eating small amounts of healthier choices by making you use all of your syns on it! I hate that they peddle Muller Lights as a "syn free treat", the sweeteners in those give me a banging sore head.

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