Generation Health?

Millennials most likely to consume one or more sugary treats each day.

36% of UK adults attemped to reduce their sugar intake in the past year

To mark this year’s Sugar Awareness Week (12-18 November), Aviva has launched new research to uncover the extent of the nation’s sweet tooth.

  • Over a quarter (28%) of UK adults treat themselves to sugary snacks such as cakes, puddings, biscuits and pastries at least once a day*.
  • Despite their reputation as a health-conscious generation, millennials (those aged 25-34) are the most likely to tuck into treats, with a third (33%) indulging in at least one sugary snack each day. 

Sugar consumption by age group

Age % of adults who consume one or more sugary treats a day
16-24 26%
25-34 33%
35-44 28%
45-54 24%
55+ 27%
  • Despite concerning levels of sugar consumption and a growing obesity crisis in the UK, just over a third (36%) of adults have attempted to curb their sugar intake over the past year (32% for those aged 25-34).
  • Older generations are the most concerned by how much sugar they eat, with 44% of those aged 55+ attempting to reduce sugar consumption over the past year.

Which region is home to the nation's sweetest tooth?

Rank Region % of adults who consume one or more sugary treats a day
1 Yorkshire & Humber 38%
2 South West 32%
3 North West 30%
4 South East 28%
5 London 27%

Dr Subashini M, Associate Medical Director at Aviva, comments on Sugar Awareness Week:

“While sugary treats can often act as an innocent indulgence, too much on too frequent a basis can pose significant health threats, leading to weight gain and a whole host of resulting health issues.

“Millennials are often considered to be the health-conscious generation. While they may be adopting healthy lifestyle habits such as drinking less and exercising more, our research shows that they’re consuming a worrying amount of sugar that could undermine these healthy habits and leave them at risk of developing significant health issues in the future.

“With just one in three (36%) UK adults attempting to reduce their sugar intake in the past year, more needs to be done if we are to tackle the UK’s sugar addiction. Sugar Awareness Week therefore presents the perfect opportunity to take stock of our sugar intake and diet - just a few small tweaks to our everyday diet can make a significant and positive impact to our health and wellbeing.”
Dr Subashini M, Associate Medical Director at Aviva

Top tips on how to cut sugar intake

Secret sugar – Food doesn’t need to be sickly sweet to contain alarming levels of sugar. It’s often found hiding in unexpected places. Make sure you read ingredients to identify which foods contain secret sugar. If it’s something easy to make such as a pasta sauce, why not consider making it from scratch and forgoing the sugar?

Look for healthy alternatives – Swapping sugary snacks for healthy alternatives such as fruit or nuts will not only lower your sugar intake but also bring additional nutritional benefits and leave you satisfied for longer.

Keep treats out of the house – If knowing sugary snacks are just seconds away in the kitchen cupboards is too much of a test for your willpower, why not set yourself a rule and make your house a no treat zone.

Don’t drink your sugar – Sugar lurks in drinks as well as food. Switching to sugar free alternatives to fizzy drinks or swapping sugar for sweetener in your tea and coffee can dramatically lower your daily sugar intake.

*Research conducted by Censuswide in August 2018 across a nationally representative sample of 2,000 UK adults.



Sally RichardsAviva press office                                          
+44 (0) 1603 684225

Notes to editors:


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