12 Jun 2015  •  Dental Health  •  4min read

Supporting National Smile Month with the #PPSugarFree Challenge – Part 2

As we mentioned in our last ‘Sugar-Free Diaries’ blog post, in line with National Smile Month (the longest running and largest oral health campaign in the UK), a team of ten willing volunteers decided to give our #PPSugarFree Challenge a go.

The idea behind the challenge is to test the team on just how well they can cope with reducing the amount of sugary foods and drinks they consume. So, with only one week left of the challenge, how are the team bearing up…

From this week’s sugar-free diaries, we’ve noticed that some of the challengers are finding this week one of their most difficult yet, but, the good news is our average difficulty rating is still slap bang in the middle, sitting firmly on a three out of five!

Sugar cuts

We’ve found that the most popular ways our team have been cutting down on their sugar intake is by swapping to sugar-free soft drinks and removing sugar from their teas and coffees.

How have you cut down your sugar intake this week?

Healthier and happier

As the challenge has moved on through to its final week, there has been a positive swing. Previously only 39% reported feeling healthier but this has now increased to 52.9%.

Again, happiness was also an area where there’s been an upsurge. After the first week only just over one quarter of our challengers reported feeling happier, but this figure has now doubled to 50% – happy days!

Do you feel happier since cutting down your sugar intake?

Food labels

It seems that the #PPSugarFree challenge really has got our challengers paying more attention to what they’re eating. With a whopping 87.9% saying they now look at food labels in greater depth than before the challenge, what further proof do we need!


Interestingly, the feedback on cravings is becoming less and less as time goes on. Is this a sign that our bodies are beginning to settle into their reduced-sugar consumption?

Only Sian and Debbie admitted to any cravings; Sian for chocolate (is she succumbing or not?) and Debbie, ‘just for anything sweet’!

Following the challenge

Two weeks ago, only 90% of our challengers said they would cut down on their sugar intake after National Smile Month had finished. This has now risen to 98%. Plus, 100% of our challengers have said they would encourage others to cut down on their sugar intake – if that isn’t a success then we don’t know what is!

Following the challenge

Sugar-free tips

Our favourite tip of the week is from Personal Assistant, Victoria Barker…

“Instead of reaching for the sweetie cupboard at home, I have taken to cutting a thin slice of cheese to go with a water biscuit, grabbing a mug of tea and then walking away from the kitchen!! At work, having a small bag of nuts has helped to curb any ‘sugar-fix’ cravings.”

So, all in all, it seems the #PPSugarFree Challenge has impacted positively on those taking part, but what about the rest of the Practice Plan Team who aren’t?

Well, let’s just say that our usually successful and planned “Bake-Off’ day had to be abandoned due to a distinct lack of interest! With the proviso that entries had to be either sugar-free or reduced-sugar, hardly anyone could muster any enthusiasm. Clearly they like their treats to be sugar-laden!

However, they really did miss out, as Sian gamely accepted the challenge and surprised us all with her delicious sugarless Apple, Coconut and Blueberry Muffins!

Sian's muffins

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