High levels of sugar in organic and children's yogurts - new survey

22 Setiembre, 2018, 20:07 | Author: Earnest Bishop
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Yogurt and other fermented dairy products are considered healthy because they are a good source of "friendly" bacteria thereby aiding digestion.

'It can be a great source of protein, calcium, and vitamin B12.

Low fat and low sugar were classified according to European Union regulations, now used for the front of pack food traffic light labelling system used in the United Kingdom: 3 grammes of fat/100 grammes or less or 1.5 grammes or less for drinks; and a maximum of 5 grammes of total sugars/100 grammes. She recognizes that jam, fruit, honey, and other popular yogurt toppings are sweet, but at least when you're adding them yourself, she says, you know roughly how much sugar you are consuming. These five chains hold the lion's share of the market (over 70%).

898 products were sorted into categories including desserts, organic yogurt, natural or Greek yogurt, dairy alternatives and yogurts aimed at children, including fromage frais.

Low fat and low sugar were classified according to European Union regulations, now used for the front of pack food traffic light labelling system used in the United Kingdom: 3 g of fat/100g or less or 1.5 g or less for drinks; and a maximum of 5 g of total sugars/100 g.

We categorised the products as shown in the figure below and found that they varied enormously in sugar content, with clear differences within and between the chosen groups.

By and large, average fat content was either below or just above the low fat threshold. "Our study highlights the challenges and mixed messages that come from the marketing and packaging of yogurt products.' Her team looked at 921 yogurts available in British supermarkets in November 2016 and found only 9 per cent had less than 5 per cent sugar - the threshold for being classed 'low sugar" with a green 'traffic light" nutritional label.

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"In the United Kingdom, on average, children eat more yogurt than adults, with children under three years old eating the most". These were followed by products in the children's, flavoured, fruit, and organic categories.

The study looked at nearly 900 yogurt products available in Britain in autumn 2016, discovering many had more than 10g per 100g of sugar. Desserts had the highest fat content and the broadest range, averaging 5.2g per 100g.

We only surveyed products from five supermarket chains.

"While yogurt may be less of a concern than soft drinks and fruit juices, the chief sources of free sugars in both children and adult's diets, what is worrisome is that yogurt, as a perceived "healthy food", may be an unrecognized source of free/added sugars", the authors wrote.

Dessert yogurts contained the most sugar, not surprisingly, but children's yogurts and organic yogurts had nearly as much.

The study also warned of the "health halo" effect that leads consumers to automatically assume that organic products are healthier, despite this category of yogurt being the most sugary.



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