Category Archives: News

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.



Football teams in Lancashire team up to launch #GiveUpLovingPop!

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Three football clubs in Lancashire have partnered up with Lancashire County Council, Healthy Stadia and Food Active to help children to cut back on sugary drinks and #GiveUpLovingPop this summer.

As the temperature continues to rise outside, three football clubs in Lancashire have teamed-up with Lancashire County Council, Healthy Stadia and Food Active to help children cut back on sugary drinks this summer. Using the power of their club’s badge, community coaches from Accrington Stanley, Fleetwood Town and Preston North End will encourage school children to “Give Up Loving Pop” and to drink more water and low-fat milk.

To find out more about the campaign, follow this link to the Food Active website.

GULP - EY - 1

NEW: Give Up Loving Pop ‘Kind To Teeth’ campaign

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Give Up Loving Pop has launched a new early years campaign ‘Kind to Teeth’ to mark the start of this year’s National Smile Month and to help promote healthier drink choices for the under 5’s. 

The campaign is aimed at parents and carers with a view to encourage water and milk for babies and children and raise awareness of the health risks associated with consumption of sugary drinks. ‘Kind to Teeth’ has been developed by registered nutritionists, dental health and early year’s specialists and forms part of the well-known Give Up Loving Pop campaign.

The campaign has been launched to coincide with National Smile Month, which will take place between 14th May until 14th June, and we are encouraging local authorities across the country to help us promote better oral health in the early years. National Smile Month is the UK’s largest and longest-running campaign to promote good oral health. Organised by the Oral Health Foundation, the campaign highlights three key messages which help to develop and maintain a healthy mouth – one of which recommends reducing the amount of sugary drinks consumed.

We are all consuming too much sugar – and young children are no exception. Research shows that babies as young as one-year-old are consuming high levels of sugar in their diet, despite public health guidance to reduce free sugar consumption. As a result, by the age of five nearly a third (31%) of children had obvious decay in their milk teeth 1. In another study, 12% of three-year-old’s were found to have evidence of tooth decay having on average three decayed, missing or filled teeth 2 – and sugary drinks are a major part of the problem. An analysis of over 200 fruit juices marketed to the early years found that almost half contained at least a child’s entire daily recommended maximum sugar intake of 19g 3.

Poor oral health is not the only consequence of prolonged consumption of excess sugar however; it can also lead to other health conditions later in life, such as obesity and type 2 diabetes 4.

Despite these types of drinks being advertised as suitable for babies from just 4 months old, it is recommended that all babies are exclusively breast fed for the first six months of life and then for as long as the mother wishes to do so. Infant formula milk can also be given. Following this, plain milk and water are recommended as the best and only drinks young children need to keep children well hydrated 5, 6.

The period from birth to five years of age is a key stage in a child’s development and provides a fantastic opportunity to influence long term healthy food and drink habits, which is why the ‘Kind to Teeth‘ campaign is encouraging parents and carers to only give their baby or young child only milk and water if they are thirsty.

The ‘Kind to Teeth‘ campaign has already received great coverage on social media and will be launched locally in a number of areas in the North West.


Commenting on the Kind to Teeth campaign, the British Dental Association Health and Science Committee Chair, Dr Russ Ladwa said:

“Tooth decay is the number one reason for hospital admission among children. The Give up loving pop ‘Kind to Teeth’ campaign is fantastic for your teeth and is a cheap way to help your kids maintain a healthy smile.

Consuming too many fizzy drinks is rotting our teeth, as well as piling on the pounds, but the ‘diet’ versions are also 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 young children and teenagers.”


We have developed a suite of poster designs (including BAME specific imagery), social media resources, videos, briefing papers and FAQ’s alongside promotional collateral such as concertina information leaflets, A4 foldout leaflets and pop up banners. Reducing levels of tooth decay in babies and young children is a priority for many local authorities, and we would be very happy to speak to public health teams, both in the North West and beyond, about how a campaign could be delivered in your local area.

If you would like to find out more about the campaign resources, please follow the link below to the ‘Kind to Teeth’ brochure.

GULP Kind to Teeth Brochure

To get in touch with one of the team, please email or give us a call on: 0151 237 2686



  1. Public Health England (2013) Dental public health epidemiology programme. Oral health survey of three-year-old children. A report on the prevalence and severity of dental decay (revised 14/01/2015)
  1. Public Health England Guidance (2017). Child oral health: applying All Our Health. Guidance [accessed online 26/09/2017]
  1. Boulton J, Hashem K, Jenner K, Lloyd-Williams F, Bromley H and Capewell S. (2016) How much sugar is hidden in drinks marketed to children? A survey of fruit juices, juice drinks and smoothies, Public health Research, BMJ Journals
  2. Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (2015) Carbohydrates and Health Report. Public Health England
  3. Public Health England (2018) National Diet and Nutrition Survey. Results from Years 7-8 (combined) of the Rolling Programme (2014/15 – 2015/16) [accessed online 28/03/2018]
  4. Public Health England (2013) Dental public health epidemiology programme. Oral health survey of three-year-old children. A report on the prevalence and severity of dental decay (revised 14/01/2015)




Sheffield prepares to Give Up Loving Pop!

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Sheffield City Council’s Public Health team are in the final stage of preparing for a three week GULP challenge in three secondary schools across the city region.

In Sheffield, more than one third of children start secondary school at an unhealthy weight. A further two fifths of 12 year olds also have dental decay – and sugary drinks are a major part of the problem.

In March, the campaign will be launched in three schools to target sugary drinks consumption in year 9’s. Teachers will be delivering a range of the GULP school-based resources, including assemblies and PSHE lessons on sugary drinks in the diet, energy and sports drinks and finally the marketing of sugary drinks to children and teenagers.

Following which, students, along with parents and staff, will be invited to Give Up Loving Pop for three weeks! All year 9 pupils who sign up to the challenge will receive a GULP water bottle and handy information leaflet to help children make more informed, healthier choices with their drinks. The school will also be provided with promotional materials to display around the school and promote the key messages of the campaign, such as pop up banners and posters.

Sheffield are excited to see the results of the challenge and behaviour change will be monitored through questionnaires before and after the GULP challenge. We hope that the messages will be cascaded through the school and even make it home to influence families and friends in the long term.

To find out more about our resources, follow this link to our latest mailout.