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Accrington Stanley helping child tooth decay campaign against fizzy drinks

The GULP campaign comes after nearly half of our kids were found to have obvious decay by age 5

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Lee Walsh, Head of Sport, Accrington Stanley Community Trust, delivering a GULP assembly to Year 5 children at St Pauls Primary, Oswaldtwistle

Accrington Stanley are championing the fight against tooth decay by urging children to cut back on sugary drinks this summer.

Hyndburn has one of the highest rates of tooth decay in the country, with nearly 46 per cent of children having obvious dental decay by age five, according to Public Health England’s oral health survey 2016/7.

Stanley’s community team, supported by Lancashire County Council, Healthy Stadia and Food Active are now encouraging school children to ‘Give Up Loving Pop’ (GULP).

Using the power of the club badge, community coaches from League One new boys Stanley will attempt to persuade them to drink more water and low-fat milk.

Stanley’s community coaches are delivering classroom-based games and physical activities to Year 5 children to teach them why it is important to look after their teeth and gums, how to read and interpret food labels on bottles or cans and why hydration is important for their education and playing sports.

Lee Walsh, head of sport at Stanley’s Community Trust, and his team are visiting primary schools.

This week they delivered an assembly to Year 5 children at St Paul’s Primary, Oswaldtwistle.

Lee said: “We’re delighted to get involved and start delivering the GULP project.

"It’s an important issue especially in our local area and we are pleased we can use the power of Accrington Stanley to spread the message.

“Although many schools now ban sugary drinks a lot of children still consume them after school is finished and at the weekends.

"We feel it’s about educating these children and through them, their parents in order to have a real impact.”

Preston North End and Fleetwood Town are also involved in the scheme.

Youngsters will be challenged to Give Up Loving Pop for 21 days.

Classes will score points for cutting back on sugary drinks with the highest-scoring primary school classes winning exclusive prizes from their club.

All the children will receive a reusable water bottle and a postcard containing information on sugary drinks to take home to their parents.

The North West tooth decay average for five-year-olds stands at 33.9 per cent, while the England average of 23.3 per cent is nearly half the Hyndburn rate.

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Other data from the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) reveals that four in 10 Hyndburn Year 6 children are overweight.