Parents are feeding under-tens an average of 14 teaspoons of sugar a day - despite years of warnings about the dangers.

And older children and teenagers are getting more than 18 teaspoons, much of it from fizzy drinks and fruit juice.

Sugar intake is nearly three times the recommended limits for people of all ages, according to figures published yesterday by Public Health England.

For children aged four to ten, average sugar consumption is 53.5g a day - the equivalent of 14 teaspoons - with sweet drinks making up 27 per cent of intake. For those aged 11 to 18, the figure is 73.2g or 18 teaspoons, with fruit juice, smoothies and fizzy drinks accounting for 38 per cent.


The figures show that youngsters' consumption of sweet drinks has dropped very little in the six years health officials have been collecting data, despite dire warnings of the health dangers. They are still the biggest source of sugar in the diet of children and teenagers.

The National Diet and Nutrition Survey, using data collected between 2012 and 2014, also found that people continue to consume too much saturated fat and not enough fruit, vegetables and fibre.

There has been no change in consumption of fruit and veg since 2008, with those aged 11 to 18 managing just 2.8 portions per day on average, little more than half the recommended level.

The figures strengthened calls from experts for the Government to make dramatic changes to health policy, after it was roundly criticised last month for "watering down" its child obesity strategy.

But Gavin Partington, of the British Soft Drinks Association, said its members had taken "significant action" to help consumers reduce sugar intake since the data was collected and claimed that intake from soft drinks had fallen by 16 per cent in the past four years.