Three-quarters of & # 39; healthy & # 39; infant food claims & # 39; one of the five-a-day & # 39; having fruit and vegetables DOES NOT HAVE the recommended portion size – and can lead to obesity
- Researchers from the University of Glasgow have tested 332 supermarket products
- They discovered that 41 percent of them were less healthy than they claimed to be
- Claims without added sugar and & # 39; one of your five-a-day & # 39; were exaggerated
Almost half of the foods and beverages that are brought onto the UK market are less healthy than they claim, a study found.
Health and nutritional messages on fruit-based snacks, fruit juices, yogurt, breakfast cereals and ready-made meals are "confusing" or misleading parents.
Three-quarters of those who claimed to have "one out of five a day" of fruit and vegetables did not contain the recommended portion size of 80 grams.
Health and nutrition messages about snacks based on fruit, juices, yogurt, cereals, and ready-made meals are & # 39; confusing & # 39; or misleading parents. Kiddylicious apple chips contain 16.5 teaspoons of sugar and 16.4 smoothie melts
Strawberry and apple dino legs have 1.48 teaspoons of sugar and super-sour bears 15
Nearly a quarter of the products – most of which were fruit-based drinks and snacks – claimed & # 39; no added sugars & # 39 ;.
But half had concentrated juice or fruit puree as added ingredients – which are now classified as & # 39; free sugars & # 39 ;.
Experts warned that a & # 39; halo effect on health & # 39; created a false impression of some foods that could possibly feed the childhood obesity crisis.
Researchers from the University of Glasgow found that out of 332 products tested in supermarkets, 41 percent were less healthy than they claimed.
They studied products that were marketed to children using cartoons, toys and promotions, as well as products that made health claims such as one of your five-a-day.
Grain bars had the highest energy and saturated fat content, while grains contained the most salt.
Nutritional profiling tests showed that a large proportion of the yogurt was less healthy than claimed due to their high saturated fat content and low fiber content.
HOW FAT ARE BRITISH CHILDREN?
English children are fatter than ever – official data revealed in October that one in 25 10 to 11 year olds is obese, the fattest possible category.
And of the approximately 556,000 children who have left primary school age in the UK, 170,000 are overweight to some extent, figures show in May last year.
More than one in five 11-year-olds is obese – equivalent to around 111,000 children – and because they are so fat, they are more likely to have type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer or a stroke.
The Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health believes that children should be weighed at school every year because & # 39; danger is on the horizon & # 39; and the UK is lagging behind the rest of the EU in tackling obesity.
Experts have also warned that children & # 39; with a drastic speed & # 39; arrive when they are in school.
Sugar in food is known to contribute to the swelling waist of children, with huge amounts of popular food packed with sugar.
A sugar tax has reduced the effects of some soft drinks, but breakfast cereals can still contain more than 70 percent of a whole day of sugar in a single bowl.
Even a single can of Coca Cola (35 g of sugar) or a Mars bar (33 g) contain more than the maximum amount of sugar that a child should have during a whole day.
"Unless we tackle this obesity crisis, today's obese children will become tomorrow's obese adults whose years of healthy living will be shortened by a whole host of health issues," said Izzi Seccombe, of the Local Government Association, in May.
Fruit snacks had the highest sugar content, on average 48 g / 100 g, but most still made the claim of five a day and sent mixed messages to the parents.
While 42 percent of the products in the sample said they contained at least one serving of fruit or vegetables – that's 80 g or 150 ml for adults – three-quarters (75.4 percent) did not do so during the test.
Although no exact portion size is recommended for children, 62.3 percent of the products that made the claim did not even contain 40 g of fruit or vegetables.
The portion size for most (nearly 95 percent) fruit-based drinks exceeded the recommended limit of 150 ml for fruit juice.
Nevertheless, the vegetable and fruit portions for most products were below the recommended portion size.
One in ten children is now obese at the age of five, rising to one in five by the time they go to high school.
The authors said that stricter rules were needed for food labeling and product content to reduce the risk of obesity.
"Pre-packaged foods aimed at children can be consumed as part of a & # 39; healthy & # 39; diet, but their health and nutrition claims remain questionable, & the researchers said.
"Given the current rising rates of childhood obesity, the consumption of less healthy food can have a negative impact on children's health in the long term.
"Strict product composition, food labeling and marketing techniques requirements are required to discourage the promotion of foods that can be considered obesogenic."
Dr. Max Davie of the Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health said: "Given the rising level of childhood obesity in the UK, it is essential that parents and children know exactly what is in the products they consume and are not misled by manipulative marketing campaigns.
"This study reveals findings, especially the disappointing amounts of fruit and vegetables in products that claim to contain at least one portion of the government five times a day.
"Clearly, families are influenced by covert food packaging, and we support researchers' call for more stringent composition and labeling requirements."
Sunny Breeding has 18.1 teaspoons of sugar and Strawberry Bears 15
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