Londoners come out top in a survey of everyday maths skills – with a question designed to test numeracy skills at roughly GSCE level.

2,000 people from across the country were asked to look how much sugar was in a chocolate bar in grams and as a percentage of the total daily allowance and to calculate which of six options came closest to the daily reference intake for sugars in grams.

Londoners were most likely to calculate the recommended daily sugar intake correctly, with 31 per cent getting it right, followed by people in the North of England with 29 per cent.

Out of everyone asked in the YouGov poll commissioned by National Numeracy, only 26 per cent gave the correct answer, with half of those surveyed giving the wrong answer and 24 per cent not even daring to give it a go.

And the capital also boasts the people with the most confidence in their numerical prowess, as 66 per cent of respondents – more than double the number who actually got the question right – from London rated their maths and numeracy as excellent or good, compared to 60 per cent overall.

But, of those who had a Maths GCSE or similar, 32 per cent didn’t think it prepared them well for managing money, 36 per cent for understanding their health, food and diet and 22 per cent of those in work felt it had not prepared them well for their current job.

Gill Rowlands, Professor of General Practice, Institute of Health and Society at Newcastle University, said: “The finding that only 1 in every 4 people could understand the sugar information in a nutrition label is particularly important given current World Health Organisation warnings on the rising levels of obesity and diabetes.”

National Numeracy chief executive Mike Ellicock said: “The maths you need for everyday life isn’t particularly complicated. But you do need to be able to apply it in all sorts of ordinary situations, whether that’s looking after your health, understanding food labels or working out the best deals in supermarkets.

“Good numeracy skills are clearly necessary for managing health and diet and yet – as this survey suggests – too many people aren’t confident with the numbers.

“But there really is help out there for people to brush up their skills.

“The National Numeracy Challenge builds the practical maths skills and confidence needed for all aspects of life – including understanding sugar consumption.”