CELEBRITY chef Jamie Oliver is encouraging people across Brighton and Hove to take the challenge to cut down on sugar in their diets.

The call is part of the Sugar Smart City Campaign, which is raising awareness of the devastating harm caused by too much sugar.

It is part of a drive to help reduce obesity and improve dental health.

The campaign has been focusing on businesses and organisations since it launched last year, urging them to introduce a sugar tax.

However now it is shifting its focus to individuals by setting up a series of competition challenges asking them to think about their sugar consumption and how they can reduce it easily and sensibly.

The campaign is run by the Brighton and Hove Food Partnership, Jamie Oliver’s Food Foundation and Brighton and Hove City Council.

Oliver said “It’s great to see so many people across the city up for getting involved with the campaign – taking a Sugar Smart challenge is a great way to start thinking about how to reduce the amount of sugar you consume.”

For the next few months it is run four simple-to-remember challenges asking residents to give them a go for a day, a week, or longer, and see if they can stick to it.

The challenges will be accompanied by events, competitions, school activities, recipe and nutrition tips and a social media awareness campaign.

The first challenge, which started yesterday (Thursday September 15) ) is “make your breakfast low-sugar”.

All people need to do is like a Facebook page and send in a photo of their healthier breakfast.

Jo Lewin, community nutritionist at the food partnership, said: “There is a high level of sugar in some breakfast cereals. We are asking people to take a look and switch to cereals with lower levels

“Toppings on toast, such as a jam or chocolate spread are also an issue. Soft cheese, eggs or mashed banana are good alternatives.”

Oliver said: “We want everyone to get behind these challenges and give them a go, whether it’s for a day, a week, or forever.

“It’s always good to mix things up, and this is about making simple swaps or choices that together, can have a really positive impact on your overall health.

I know Brighton and Hove is a forward-thinking, exciting city – this is your chance to lead the way and together, show the world you can be the first Sugar Smart City.”

Anyone sending their picture on the Facebook page over the next two weeks will be entered into a draw to win a £30 voucher for the Lovefit cafe in Queens Road, Brighton.

Other competitions coming up include urging people to have less fizzy drinks and cutting back on sugary snacks.

The Facebook page can be found by searching for Sugar Smart or going to facebook.com/SugarSmartCity/?fref=ts