GULP returns to Blackpool Football Community Trust

GULP returns to Blackpool Football Community Trust

The GULP Challenge returns to Blackpool with Blackpool Community Football Trust to help children swap sugary drinks for water and low fat milk.

The GULP Challenge aims to tackle excessive sugar intake in a bid to stop children developing potentially life-threatening conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and obesity. Both at a local and national level, there are stark levels of childhood obesity and consuming excessive amounts of sugar is a notable driver of this epidemic – and sugary drinks are a big part of the problem. In fact, according to Public Health England figures, children between four and 18 are getting around a third of their sugar intake from fizzy drinks. Not only can this have negative implications on children’s weight, but it can also increase the risk of poor dental health too. In Blackpool alone, 400 children admitted to hospital each year for tooth extractions –  more than twice the rate of the national average.

Our Director of Research, Robin Ireland, said: “It is so important to get messages about sugary drinks to school children in as entertaining a way as possible so it is great to see this initiative supported by the Blackpool FC Community Trust. Give Up Loving Pop is a successful campaign that has spread across the North West and Blackpool Council has done a tremendous job in taking this on to help children choose healthier options”.

As sugary drinks are readily available to children across Blackpool this year’s Giving Up Loving Pop (GULP) Challenge aims to reaching out to more than 3,000 primary school children to reduce their sugar intake. Pupils will also be taking part in the 21 day #GULPChallenge, and will be given a diary which they must complete with the drinks they have consumed throughout the 21-days. They also receive a free water bottle to encourage them to keep hydrated during the school day. The Year 4 and 5 classes with the most amount of pop free days on their diary will receive an all-expenses paid trip to Blackpool High Ropes.

Last year the GULP Challenge was a huge success with over 1000 Year 4 pupils across Blackpool taking up healthier drink options.

Marc Joseph, Senior Health Officer at Blackpool FC Community Trust, said: “We are trying to engage pupils and stop them drinking too many fizzy drinks. The GULP Challenge will hopefully change the children’s drinking habits and with Blackpool having so many school children influenced by adverts encouraging them to drink pop it is important that we get the message across at an early age.

“Last year we had great success which is why this year we are making the challenge bigger and opening it up to Year 4 and 5 pupils across Blackpool, meaning we will reach over 3,000 children. If the majority of them complete the challenge then we can consider it another great year.”

This year’s GULP Challenge was launched on 14th April and will be followed by more roadshows across Blackpool schools.

For more information on the Gulp Challenge, contact Blackpool FC Community Trust on 01253 348691 or visit

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