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What do 15 rugby players, a class of 30 six-to-seven year olds and a saltwater crocodile have in common? They all weigh 650kg.

In 2017 Salford Community Leisure was the first community leisure operator in the UK to ban sugary drinks from being sold from vending machines and cafes in its eight leisure centres.

Full sugar drinks were replaced with additional water, diet and sugar-free products. In total, the sugar in the drinks removed, in a year (based on typical sales figures) equals 650kg – that’s 650 bags of white refined sugar.

Mark Chew, Director of Leisure, said:


“We are quite shocked at this figure but we’re also very proud that people have been able to make healthier choices at our leisure centres. Our organisation is fully committed to helping families in Salford lead healthier lifestyles and removing full sugar drinks from vending machines was a bold, but important step to take.”

Leisure centre member Hannah Chan, aged 30 from Irlam, said


“We're Salford Leisure members and use the facilities individually and as a family as we know how important it is to keep one eye on health and wellbeing. For us, only having access to sugar-free drinks in the leisure centres has meant that we're able to carry on with our healthy choices throughout the day and there’s much less chance of tempting to reach for the sugar.”

The move to take out sugar-laden drinks from vending machines was is part of Salford’s involvement in Public Health England’s Change4Life campaign, which encourages parents in the area to get 'Sugar Smart' and take control of their children's sugar intake and Salford Community Leisure is working with Salford City Council and Salford Clinical Commissioning Group (Salford CCG) to make Salford a sugar smart city.

Currently, 22.1% of four and five-year-olds are overweight or obese in Salford (almost one-in-four), increasing to 36.6% (more than one-in-three) ten and eleven-year-olds.

Photo 1 shows L-R: Hannah, Millie, Belle, Felix (front left) and dad Jimmy Chan.

Photo2  shows L-R: Monique Fennell (26), leisure team member from Salford, Mark Chew and Wil Holland-Leavens (27), leisure team member from Eccles, at Worsley Leisure Centre.


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