Sugar Smart Oxford

The High Sheriff Corporate Challenge is all about competitive fun but also there’s a serious message about improving conditions in the workplace and encouraging employers and employees to look at new initiatives.

One such initiative Richard Venables would like everyone to sign up to is the SUGAR SMARTOXFORD campaign.

Hannah Fenton from Good Food Oxford is spearheading this campaign and states…

“As a city, we’re having too much sugar and it’s bad for our health. Sugary drinks are a particular culprit – a can of soft drink can contain 9 teaspoons of sugar and a bottle 13 teaspoons – when adults are recommended to have a maximum of 7 teaspoons a day.”

The result of this? Tooth decay, sugar highs and crashes, weight gain, lack of physical fitness – which decreases productivity and increases levels of diabetes, heart disease and other health issues.

SUGAR SMART is a campaign led by Jamie Oliver, and Oxford is the lucky 13th city to get onboard – the campaign is being delivered by Good Food Oxford in partnership with Oxford City Council, Oxfordshire County Council Public Health, Community Dental Services, Oxfordshire NHS Clinical Commissioning Group and Oxfordshire Workplace Wellbeing Network.

Oxford’s Great Sugar Debate ran until 15th January 2018 and asked people:

Should Oxford be doing something about sugar?

If so, what could be done in businesses, cafés and restaurants, schools and colleges, vending machines?

What is the best way to help people in Oxford reduce their sugar intake from sugary drinks in particular?

Results are due to come out any day now, and we are looking for flagship businesses to make Sugar Smart commitments to improve their workplace.

The business commitments we are proposing:

  • Make tap water more prominently available
  • Lower the proportion of sugary drinks on offer
  • Greater visibility of healthy drinks options
  • Traffic light system on drinks menus/shelves
  • 10p “sugar tax” on sugary drinks to go to a children’s health charity
  • Or other initiatives including free fruit for staff, a cake-free day, installing an extra drinking fountain – or something else.

Richard Venables adds “I want the 22 Corporate Challengers to all sign up to the SUGAR SMART campaign. To become a ‘flagship’ business you need to make at least one of the above commitments – if you make three they will be awarded a Sugar Smart ‘golden teaspoon'”.

So what do you do…?

  1. Register your interest (on behalf of your organisation) on the national dashboard
  2. Keep up-to-date with local progress here
  3. Sugar Smart Oxford are offering a support meeting for each of our flagship businesses to discuss simplest and most impactful actions – do get in touch with Hannah Fenton to take this up.