Too much candy, sweetie: how a municipal pilot is helping Danish kids to reduce their ‘slik’ intake

Given that the average Dane consumes 6.6 kg of sweets a year, it’s not just a children’s problem either

Head out to the supermarket today and you’ll be swamped by kids taking over the penny candy area. Welcome to the Friday ‘slik’ stampede!

Perfect for munching on during the ‘Disney Show’ or ‘X Factor’, stuffing your face with candy on Friday evening is a long-held tradition in Denmark.

The country’s children eat four times more sweets than the Danish Food and Drug Administration recommends, according to the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries of Denmark.

READ ALSO: Sweet surrender: Danes are world champs at candy consumption

Furthermore, approximately 20 percent of Danes’ daily energy intake is covered by sweets, whereas a maximum of only 5 percent is recommended. 

In total, the average person in Denmark consumes 6.6 kilos of sweets every year – and this figure doesn’t even include chocolate!

Get rid of your child’s sweet tooth!
A high intake of sweets poses an increased risk of being overweight and damages dental health.

Moreover, people consuming large amounts of sugar tend to consume less nutritious food and drinks.

For that reason, the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration recently conducted a pilot project in Copenhagen suburb Hvidovre entitled ‘Er du for sød? Så er du ikke alene’ (Are you too much of a sweetie? Then you are not alone’).

Primarily addressing children’s candy consumption, the project was supported by the non-profit organisation Nordea Foundation with a grant of 13.8 million kroner.

For three years different tools were tested on families with children in the 0th grade, and the outcome was noticeable: after the launch, the kids consumed 13 percent fewer sweets weekly on average. The ones who had previously consumed the largest amounts reduced their intake the most.

The future of Are you too cute?
Due to the project’s success, it will continue to run until 2027 – giving 15 other municipalities the opportunity to participate. This time it will target families with children in grades 0-3.

Anne Pøhl Enevoldsen, the head of unit at the Danish Food and Drug Administration, emphasised that the project’s aim was not to point fingers at parents, but simply to give them a guilty conscience.

The goal should not be to completely cut sweets out of children’s diets, she said, but to avoid a high intake of unhealthy sugars.