All posts by Beth Bradshaw


#GiveUpLovingPop supports Sugar Awareness Week 2020!

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Happy new year! We are looking forward to another exciting year for the GULP and Kind to Teeth campaign, with lots of exciting campaigns and resources planned over the next twelve months – and what better way to kick off 2020 with Sugar Awareness Week, focusing on the sugar content of soft drinks!

Sugar Awareness Week (20-26th January) is coordinated by our friends at Action on Sugar and provides an opportunity to celebrate the success of food industry, government and NGOs’ progress so far, and discuss the future for sugar and calorie reduction and its place in the government’s Childhood Obesity Plan.

This year’s theme is ‘What’s in your drink?’We drink a variety of drinks throughout the day, but do you know how much sugar is in them? Do you think about drinks when we think about your daily sugar intake? How easy is it to find out the sugar content?

Many drinks do not have nutrition information available at point of choice or anywhere else for that matter. It is even more shocking that when there is, it reveals unnecessarily high levels of sugar and calories. Action on Sugar have produced a handy poster for local events and schools to help raise awareness of how the sugar content of drinks consumed across the day can push us over our reference intake of free sugars, as well as other campaign materials. You can access these here. You can also join in the conversation on social media by using the hashtag #SugarAwarenessWeek.

The Give Up Loving Pop campaign is pleased to support this year’s Sugar Awareness Week, and you can find out how to drink less sugar on our website by checking out our resources page.

GULP - Special Edition Bulletin v3

#GiveUpLovingPop Special Edition Bulletin: May

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Our second Give Up Loving Pop special edition bulletin is now live, updating Food Active subscribers on all things GULP and sugary-drink related news.

The bulletin will come in addition to the Food Active monthly e-bulletin, which is typically circulated in the last week of each calendar month.

This edition’s highlights include:

  • #KindToTeeth supports National Smile Month
  • GULP returns to Blackpool Football Community Trust
  • Give Up Loving Pop on tour in Blackburn, Lancashire and Cumbria
  • Leader of Rochdale Council shares his experience on GULP
  • Latest sugary-drink news and updates from the sugar tax
  • A reminder of our wide range of educational resources available to tackle sugary drinks in the community

Click here to read our #GiveUpLovingPop special edition bulletin

Make sure you subscribe to our mailing list to keep up to date – sign up here!

KTT - 1

#KindToTeeth is supporting National Smile Month 2019!

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Today marks one year since we launched our Kind to Teeth campaign and this #NationalSmileMonth, we are again promoting the campaign to help tackle poor oral health in the early years across the North West and beyond.

The Give Up Loving Pop (GULP) early years campaign, ‘Kind to Teeth’ aims to improve knowledge and raise awareness of the health risks associated with consumption of sugary drinks in under-fives. The ‘Kind to Teeth’ campaign was launched by Food Active in 2018 to mark National Smile Month and was supported on social media by eight commissioning local authorities across the North West. In addition, a number have delivered the campaigns locally by disseminating ‘Kind to Teeth’ resources such as concertina leaflets and pop up banners in children’s centres, dental practices and GPs.

Across the UK, the state of dental health in the UK is worsening. Data from the National Oral Health Survey shows that on average, 23.3% of 5-year olds have some experience of obvious decay, the average number of teeth that were decayed, missing or filled was 3.4 (at age five, children normally have 20 primary teeth)[1] However, there is large variations between regions in England, with the North West being the greatest with over one third of children (33.9%) having some experience of obvious decay by the age of five[2].

Monday 13th May 2019 marks the start of this year’s National Smile Month, and we will again be supporting the campaign by encouraging local authorities across the North West to promote Kind to Teeth in their areas and to help tackle poor oral health in the early years, by promoting healthier drink choices such as milk or water.

You can find out more about the Kind to Teeth campaign on our website:

If you would like to get in touch with one of the team to discuss accessing the Kind to Teeth campaign materials, please email

[1] Public Health England (2018) National Dental Epidemiological Programme for England. London: Crown Copyright

[2] Public Health England (2018) National Dental Epidemiological Programme for England. London: Crown Copyright

Oral Health

GULP attends the Millom BeWell Family Festival in Cumbria

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The Give Up Loving Pop campaign was pleased to support the Millom BeWellFest today on 6th April, a free community health & wellbeing event held at Millom Network Centre, Copeland.

The event was attended by a record turn out of 337 residents and organised organised by Millom Rotary in partnership with the Millom Integrated Care Community and Cumbria County Council.

Millom Be Well Fest is an annually held event which offers members of the public the opportunity to discuss any health matters alongside a range of fun-filled activities. The broad aim is to encourage people to have positive conversations about their health. Alongside GULP, there were many more activities and serves available including free health checks, healthy eating advice, arts and crafts activities and more.

Maria Hewitt, Community Development Officer, Cumbria County Council said:

“Local health issues include oral hygiene, particularly amongst children, obesity and type 2 diabetes, so we were pleased to be able to display GULP banners and concertina information leaflets to raise awareness and make people think twice about what’s in fizzy drinks. We used ‘drain your drinks’ sugar displays, were able to give away 100 free toothbrushes and toothpaste, and also printed off sugar content posters courtesy of GULP. Fizzy drinks were not on sale at the event either!”


West Cheshire prepares to #GiveUpLovingPop this January!

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#GiveUpLovingPop arrives in Cheshire West and Chester this January, with pupils and staff across the borough encouraged to switch sugary drinks for water and milk.

Children and young people are consuming more than three times as much sugar as the maximum recommended daily intake, most of which comes from sugary drinks. A recent study by the World Cancer Research Fund found that young people are drinking on average three bath tubs of sugary drinks per year.

An easy way to reduce sugar intake is to cut out or reduce sugary drinks. Cheshire West and Chester Council along with Food Active are running a borough-wide campaign to encourage residents to Give Up Loving Pop (GULP).

The GULP campaign is aimed at young people and families to encourage them to switch from sugary drinks to water or milk. The campaign involves working with schools and their pupils to encourage them to make healthy lifestyle choices.

Nominated pupils and staff from schools across the borough have received GULP training as part of their Change4Life Champions training. The training was delivered by the School Sports Partnership groups who cover the Chester, Ellesmere Port and Vale Royal areas. Change4Life Champions from each of the schools received advice and information on sugary drinks and healthier alternatives and will share what they’ve learnt with their classmates.

The recommended daily maximum of sugar in a person’s diet is no more than five cubes of sugar for four to six year olds, no more than six cubes for seven to ten year olds and no more than seven cubes for 11 years and older, including adults. One can of Cola can contain nine cubes alone, pushing a person over their recommended daily allowance before you even consider any added sugar contained within food and other drinks.

Sugar is not necessary in the diet and especially when consumed in the form of sugary drinks can cause a whole host of health issues, from tooth decay, to obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Excess sugar intake has also been linked to certain cancers.

Councillor Louise Gittins, Cabinet Member for Communities and Wellbeing said: “Many children have too much sugar in their diet, and much of this comes in the form of sugary drinks. Not only is this causing problems for children and young people now in terms of tooth decay and weight gain, but continued over-consumption of sugar can lead to problems in later life.

“Sugary drinks can affect behaviour and academic performance. The GULP campaign will educate local young people about the benefits of switching to water or milk and we hope that the messages will be taken home, to share with family and friends.”

Martin Jones from Huntington Primary School, who attended the course, said: “The training course delivered to both teachers and children was excellent. With practical ideas and theory work we created an action plan with the children to take back to their school, incorporating the Change4Life and GULP Campaign messages in a fun and realistic environment.”

Families can find out more about the GULP campaign online:

See the Council’s press release here:

GULP - Special Edition Bulletin v2

#GiveUpLovingPop special edition bulletin launches!

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In 2019, Food Active will be sending a Give Up Loving Pop special edition bulletin every now and then to update Food Active subscribers on all things GULP and sugary-drink news.

The bulletin will come in addition to the Food Active monthly e-bulletin, which is typically circulated in the last week of each calendar month.

This edition’s highlights include:

  • GULP Lancashire Evaluation
  • GULP returns to Rochdale to help fight tooth decay
  • Kind to Teeth funding granted to develop a Parent Champions project
  • West Cheshire prepares to #GiveUpLovingPop
  • Latest news including Fizz Free February, Change4Life and #RethinkSugaryDrink ‘Thirsty’ campaign
  • A reminder of our wide range of educational resources available to tackle sugary drinks in the community

View the first special edition bulletin below

#GiveUpLovingPop Special Edition Bulletin

Make sure you subscribe to our mailing list to receive both mailers – sign up below.

Food Active mailing list – subscribe here


#GiveUpLovingPop returns to Rochdale to help fight tooth decay!

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Give Up Loving Pop returns to Rochdale Borough Council, following the success of their campaign in January 2018. 

Rochdale Borough Council decided to target Give Up Loving Pop programme at a few schools across the borough, some of which have the highest levels of obesity in the borough. The council have worked with schools to ensure the delivery suited their school day – sometimes delivering assemblies to an entire key stage group, and also teaching lessons to individual classes with the Key stage 2 lesson plans.

They have tweaked some of the sessions to include food as well as drinks, the children loved the egg experiments and sugar detectives, they are continuing this at home looking in their cupboards, also we tweaked it to sugar mealtimes only to consider dental health as well as obesity and talked about visiting the dentist in appositive way for fluoride application also learning “teeth codes” deciduous dentition abcde or adult dentition 12345 etc….

All schools have been very receptive to the programme and the children have really enjoyed the interactive sessions. The intervention has allowed schools to highlight the great work they’re already doing, and has prompted some to increase their focus on children’s health.

The campaign will take place across January, with the leader of the council visiting one of the GULP sessions in school on the 30th January.

GULP Early Years Banner

Kind to Teeth ‘Parent Champions’ funding granted!

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We are pleased to announce that Food Active has been granted funding to develop a Parent Champions training programme, as part of our Kind to Teeth campaign launched in May 2018 to help promote healthier drink choices in the under-fives.

The project will be working with a range of stakeholders across two local authorities in the North West, Knowsley and Rochdale, of which both experience disproportionately higher levels of childhood obesity and tooth decay.

Poor dental health is associated with deprivation (Knowsley and Rochdale are 2nd and 17th respectively on the IMD 2015) and data shows that 42.3% and 47.1% of five-year olds in Knowsley and Rochdale respectively suffer from dental decay. This compares to 33.9% in the North West and 23.3% across England.

Poor dental health impacts not just on the individual’s health but also their wellbeing and that of their family. Children who have dental decay may have pain, infections and difficulties with eating, sleeping and socialising. Children who have toothache or who need treatment may have to be absent from school. Oral health is therefore an important aspect of a child’s overall health status and of their school readiness and this project will address oral health issues at an early stage, helping more children to fulfil their potential.

The project will involve training up a number of parent champions, who will be asked to engage with parents at structured events based in community centres, but also when out and about in the local community – reaching parents in playgrounds, markets, libraries, community events and local play groups – this gives them a unique opportunity to interact with parents in an informal setting.

If you would like to find out more about the project, please contact

gulp football

#GiveUpLovingPop Lancashire campaign evaluation

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Results from the Give Up Loving Pop programme evaluation demonstrate effectiveness of community sports coaches delivering sugary drinks education to children.

This summer, community coaches from three professional football clubs in North West England delivered a four-part sugary drinks education programme to over 900 Year 5 children, helping them to cut back on sugar drinks and drink more water.

Coaches from Accrington Stanley, Fleetwood Town and Preston North End delivered a range of classroom and playground-based activities educating children on looking after their teeth and gums, how to read nutrition labels on bottles and cans and the importance of hydration for attainment in school and performing well in sport. The project was commissioned by Lancashire County Council following rising rates of overweight and obesity and poor oral health in the region.

During the programme, coaches also challenged the children to Give Up Loving Pop for 21 days. On average, children achieved 16.1 days free of sugary drinks and 95% of participants achieving a minimum of 10 days drinking only water and milk – almost 50 years’ worth of sugary drink free days.

Effectiveness of Community Coaches

The evaluation report, produced alongside researchers from Liverpool John Moores University, also revealed a significant advantage of delivering GULP using community sports coaches.

Teachers noted that children really engaged with GULP due to the “the power of football” going on to say that delivery by Key Stage 2 teachers “wouldn’t have had as big an effect.”

Interestingly, coaches indicated that through their training on sugary drinks topics prior to delivery, their delivery of GULP was having a notable effect on the knowledge and attitudes of the children but also the teacher themselves. One coach noted that teachers “knowledge of sugary drinks and marketing techniques was very minimal”.

Classroom-based learning was bolstered by 30 minutes of physical activity in each session freeing coaches to deliver health education on oral health through various games and activities. Coaches at Preston North End modified dodgeball, with red balls representing high-sugar drinks and blue balls representing water, encouraging the children to think throughout the game about the negative impact of various drinks on their teeth.

Other results from the GULP KS2 programme include:

  • Post-programme children were more likely to choose water to hydrate themselves during school and during sport
  • Children were more likely to check bottles and cans for nutritional information after GULP
  • Children were better to able to identify high-sugar drinks post-programme, helping them to make informed decision in the future

To find out more about the sports clubs GULP programme, please follow the link below to our partner Healthy Stadia.

Sugary Drinks Education


Tameside launches second #GiveUpLovingPop campaign!

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 Tameside Public Health has launched it’s second GULP campaign this week, following the success of the campaign launched in fifteen secondary schools last year.

Tameside Council with partners are in the final stage of preparing for a four week GULP challenge across their a number of their primary and secondary schools, to continue the GULP legacy from last years successful campaign.

Over the next few weeks, StoneSoup (a public speaking group) will be delivering assemblies in schools across the borough to raise awareness of the health harms associated with consuming too many sugary drinks, and launch a 4-week GULP challenge in each school. Pupils will be provided with GULP branded school-goods such as highlighters and bus passes, to help remind pupils to stay on track with their challenge and also be entered into a prize draw to win Amazon vouchers.  Schools will also be provided with GULP PSHE lesson plans for delivery through their teaching staff to help to continue pupils knowledge and understanding of sugary drinks.

Tameside are excited to see the results of the challenge and behaviour change will be monitored through pre and post-challenge questionnaires from the GULP Challenge. We hope that the messages will be cascaded through the school and even make it home to influence families and friends.

Charlotte, Public Health Programme Officer at Tameside and project lead for the campaign said:

“We are delighted to be delivering GULP for the second time here in Tameside, as the first campaign was a great success.

This year the campaign is BIGGER and we will launching in primary schools too, as we know as many as one third of children in Tameside are leaving primary school an unhealthy weight.  We hope the gulp challenge will foster long term healthy eating and attitudes around sugar consumption.”

Follow twitter accounts @gulpNOW and @WeAreStoneSoup to find out updates from the campaign.