The University of Brighton has launched a campaign to cut sugar consumption, which has been backed by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver.
Brighton, a member of the University of Caterers Organisation (TUCO), is the first university in the country to join Oliver's Sugar Smart drive. It has joined forces with Brighton & Hove City Council in the Sugar Smart City campaign.
The university will be introducing a number of initiatives over the next academic year including a 10p levy on sugary drinks. It will introduced at all of its campuses in Brighton, Hastings and Eastbourne from 1 August. The money raised will be used to fund food education schemes for university students.
It is also planning to raise awareness of sugar consumption and hidden sugars through cooking lessons, education and nutrition information.
The chef has sent the university's 23,000 staff and students a message of support.
He said: "I'm hugely excited that the University of Brighton is joining the Sugar Smart campaign. It's brilliant to hear it is introducing a levy on sugary drinks to help raise awareness about the long-term damage too much sugar can have on our health, and empowering us all to reduce it in our diets.
"We're facing a growing obesity crisis; with more than four million people in the UK diagnosed with type-2 diabetes, the need for action is more urgent than ever. Students of all ages need to be more aware of the dangers sugar consumption can have on our long-term health."
Mike Haslin, chief operating officer of TUCO, added: "Our members represent best catering practice in more than 500 of the UK's universities and colleges and, through the sharing of information and leading by example, we're calling on universities across the country to follow in Brighton's footsteps and adopt early action to have a positive impact on the future generation."
Julie Barker, Brighton University's director of accommodation and hospitality and chair of TUCO, said: "The university has a strong reputation for sustainable ethical catering, and we're delighted now to be leading the UK's higher education sector with the Sugar Smart campaign."
In October last year Brighton and Hove became the first UK city to tackle sugar consumption. While in March this year the chancellor George Osborne announced a new sugar levy on the soft drinks industry, which will come into effect in 2018.
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