Jamie Oliver hails Lions as 'trailblazers'
Millwall Football Club is set to become the first in the EFL to actively support the national Sugar Smart campaign to encourage fans and local people to improve their health by cutting down on sugar.
Millwall are joining forces with Lewisham Council and the Jamie Oliver Foundation with a view to encouraging people to eat more healthily and lower their sugar intake.
Millwall will impose a 10p sugar levy on non-diet soft drinks sold at the ground, starting in the Family Stand for this Saturday's Sky Bet League One home fixture against Fleetwood Town.
Eight pence from every 10p of the 'sugar tax' will be donated to the Millwall Community Trust to develop physical activity programmes for children in Lewisham. In addition there will be educational signage at The Den and fruit options as alternatives to desserts at non-matchday events.
According to the Jamie Oliver Foundation: Being overweight and obese can have devastating effects on long term health leading to diet related disease including Type 2 diabetes, Strokes, Cancer and Heart disease. Sugar plays a large part in this and often people are unaware of how much they are consuming in modern convenient foods. Sugary drinks are believed to be where children and teenagers get a third of their sugar consumption. They are fast to consume and contain no nutritional value.
Millwall's Head of Catering, Conferences and Events, Veronica Quinn said: "We are proud to be at the forefront of this campaign which will hopefully encourage our supporters and the people who use our facilities to think seriously about their health, and in particular the amount of sugar they are digesting in their food and drinks."
Steve Bradshaw, CEO of Millwall's Community Trust added: "Millwall Community Trust is delighted to support the club's ground-breaking commitment to Sugar Smart and to local families.
"We are hoping to run a pilot health awareness and exercise programme for young people aged 9-13 years in local primary and secondary schools. The programme is likely to be 10 weeks in duration for up to 60 children in each of 10 schools, including weekly activity and education sessions focussing on diet, nutrition, exercise and sugar-levels in food and drink."
Jamie Oliver said: "It's brilliant that Lewisham and Millwall have joined us and are launching their own Sugar Smart campaign. Trailblazing and becoming the first London Borough and Football Club to go Sugar Smart! They’ll be joining us in raising awareness about the long-term damage too much sugar can have on our health, and empowering us all to reduce it in our diets."
Cllr Chris Best, Lewisham Cabinet Member for Health, Wellbeing and Older People, said: "Becoming a Sugar Smart borough signals our intention to get to grips with an issue that threatens to cut people’s lives short. In Lewisham we know that we need a new approach to tackle this epidemic which is why we have taken this bold step."
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