sugar swaps

We are all consuming too much sugar – and sugar sweetened drinks are a big part of the problem. It’s time to #GiveUpLovingPop! Water and lower fat milks are the best sources of hydration to keep you going at school and home throughout the day!

Am I eating too much sugar?

Everyday people in Greater Manchester, of all ages, are consuming too much sugar. The biggest contributor in the diet is soft drinks. People’s health would benefit if sugar intake was reduced. The table on the right shows that children and young people are the biggest culprits – 11-18 year old’s consume over three times the recommended amount of free sugars.

Sugar shockers

In the case of fruit juices and smoothies – it’s better to eat the whole fruit itself because we’re then getting the benefits of eating fibre, and the sugar in the fruit is absorbed more slowly in our bodies.

How can I tell if a drink is high in sugar?

There are 56 different names for sugar! The most common include maltose, glucose, molasses, fructose, sucrose, dextrose, honey, invert sugar, treacle and syrups. If these are listed high up in the ingredients list on the nutrition label, it is likely the product is high in sugar as ingredients are listed in order of weight.


5 top tips from on how to #GiveUpLovingPop and swap to healthier sources of hydration.

Try switching from sparkling orange juice to no added sugar squash with sparkling water / plain water.

Try diluting fresh / pure orange juice (not made from concentrate) with sparkling or plain water.

If you don’t like the taste of water, add fresh fruit to your water, such as strawberries or orange, for a fruity low-sugar twist to your water bottle.

‘Diet’ soft drinks contain no or little added sugar however they are acidic and can be harmful to teeth if consumed too often. These can be a good alternative to high-sugar versions, but try to keep for special occasions and drink at mealtimes only.

Water and lower fat milks are the best drinks to have between mealtimes and the best source of hydration for school, work, sport and general day-to-day life. Try to drink at least 6-8 glasses every day.

Get inspired

Stories from across GM where communities are making a difference


Tameside was the first area in Greater Manchester to deliver a Give Up Loving Pop campaign back in 2017 and worked with a 12 secondary schools across the borough to deliver a series of lessons and activities around sugary drinks, energy drinks and the marketing of sugary drinks to year 9 pupils. 88% of pupils completed the 4-week challenge to #GiveUpLovingPop and 86% stated that they would now consider swapping sugary drinks for milk and water. The campaign was so successful that is was delivered again in 2018!


The Give Up Loving Pop campaign teamed up with Rochdale’s Healthy Heroes campaign to deliver a range of lessons on sugary drinks, reading food labels and hydration to year 4’s in five primary schools in the borough in 2018 and in 2019. Following a 21-day challenge to #GiveUpLovingPop, an average of 55% of pupils went sugary-drink free and 85% of pupils across the schools said they would now consider drinking less sugary drinks.


The Give Up Loving Pop campaign arrived in Salford in 2018 and worked with one secondary school in the area to deliver a range of education sessions around sugary drinks with year 8 pupils, a launch assembly and a 21-day challenge to #GiveUpLovingPop. 61% of pupils stated they completed the challenge and had no sugary drinks, and 86% said they would now consider consuming less sugary drinks in the future.

Online tools

Sugar smart

Food scanner app

Change4Life sugar calculator

Find out more about food and drink and what changes you can make