Sugary Drinks Education

What is GULP?

Give Up Loving Pop (GULP) is a campaign launched in 2015 by Healthy Stadia’s food and nutrition partner – Food Active. GULP aims to raise awareness of the health harms associated with the over-consumption of high-sugar drinks.

The campaign is aimed at children and young people as the main consumers of high-sugar drink, providing them with information and tools to maker healthier choices, such as water and milk. So far GULP has been delivered in over ten local authorities across the North of England and has received national and international recognition for its pioneering work.

Why Give Up Loving Pop?

People in the UK are consuming too much sugar. On average, children aged 4-10 years old in England are consuming 52.2g grams of sugar per day – that’s 13 sugar cubes! This increases to 17 sugar cubes for 11-18 year olds. And a large proportion of the sugar we are consuming comes from popular soft drinks.

Although many people, including children, are aware of the negative impact that high-sugar drinks can have on their teeth, fewer are aware of the link between over-consumption of high-sugar drinks and long-term conditions such as overweight, obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Delivery of GULP through football clubs

The power of football has been used leverage support for local and national programmes supporting a variety of issues such as eradicating racism, tackling unemployment and helping to integrate refugees.

Increasingly, football clubs are being asked to deliver health programmes to tackle a wide range of physical and mental health issues. In response to growing concerns around overweight, obesity and poor oral health in children, Healthy Stadia was commissioned to develop a sugary drinks education programme for Key Stage 2 school children.

Three professional sports clubs were recruited to deliver a four-part PSHE programme to Year 5 children aiming to educate them on the health harms associated with high-sugar drinks, how to identify drinks that are high in sugar and the benefits of staying hydrated for health, educational attainment and sporting performance.

Following a half-day training session held at EFL House, community coaches from Accrington Stanley, Fleetwood Town and Preston North End delivered GULP to over 900 children during the summer 2018 term. The programme included a range of bespoke classroom and playground-based activities that were made available to the clubs via a dedicated web portal.

Programme Effectiveness

of children completed 10 days sugary drink free during the programme
the average number of sugary drink free days achieved by children (out of 21)
of children would choose to drink water to aid their learning post-programme
of children would choose to drink water for sport post-programme

Give Up Loving Pop with Your Club

Following the success of GULP in Lancashire, the KS2 Programme is now available as a package for all interested football, rugby league, rugby union and cricket clubs, consisting of a half-day training session, access to a bespoke GULP resource portal, communications pack and social marketing materials.

Programme Format

Part 1

Assembly & launch of GULP Challenge

Part 2

PSHE Session 1: Oral Health

Part 3

PSHE Session 2: Nutrition Labels

Part 4

PSHE Session 3: Hydration
GULP Programme Outcomes

  • Health & Wellbeing: behavioural and attitudinal change resulting in reduced consumption of high-sugar drinks
  • Hydration: more children choosing to drink water to aid their learning and to stay hydrated during sport
  • Physical Activity: GULP contributes 30 minutes per PSHE session towards children’s everyday exercise
  • Raising Awareness: sensitising children, teachers and families to the issue of high-sugar drinks

How will your club benefit?

  • Capacity building: knowledge and skills gained during training can be applied in different areas of your club
  • Evidence-based programme: funders want to see proof that projects work
  • Easy integration: GULP can be incorporated into existing school delivery
  • Academic evaluation: Healthy Stadia can secure support from masters students to evaluate programmes

GULP Resources

  • Web Portal: GULP Coach Manual and Delivery PowerPoint Presentations
  • Monitoring & Evaluation: GULP Quiz and GULP Challenge materials to measure the success of the programme
  • Social Marketing Materials: Includes re-usable water bottles, pop-up banners, GULP Challenge stickers, leaflets for parents
  • PR: Template press release, social media messages and images, letter to parents/guardians

Training for Coaches

  • Part 1: Background of GULP; health harms of sugary drinks; measures to combat obesity; hydration; nutrition labels; soft drinks categories; marketing strategies
  • Part 2: Overview of GULP resources and how to use them; role of the coach during GULP delivery; how to plan a GULP session; mock deliveries of GULP activities; physical activity brainstorming session
  • Part 3: Question & Answer Session

Monitoring & Evaluation

  • GULP Challenge:  a framework designed to capture consumption habits of children
  • GULP Quiz: children complete a brief questionnaire before and after the progamme to assess their knowledge, attitudes and behaviour
  • Qualitative Interviews: children, coaches, teachers and parents are interviewed to receive feedback on the programme
  • Long-term follow-up: children re-take the GULP Quiz 12 months after delivery to assess retention of knowledge and skills

Get in touch

If you, one of your team, or even your local commissioners would like to speak to us about how we can develop a successful GULP programme with your club, Healthy Stadia would be more than happy to help clubs find funding and assist in the in the bid writing process by drawing on local and national public health statistics.

Local Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), local Public Health teams, the Primary School Sports Premium and Big Lottery Awards for All (small grants) are just a few suggested mechanisms you may wish to explore. For more information about the GULP KS2 programme download our brochure or get in touch by clicking the button below.

About Us

Find out more about Healthy Stadia and the Healthy Stadia concept

Stadia Guidance

Support for stadia to introduce health-promoting policies


Find out more about our range of community health programmes


Learn more about how we advocate for change through sport

Research Projects

Discover how we support researchers and deliver projects


Find out how we support Europe’s governing body of football