Children’s snacks high in sugar

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Action on Sugar finds worryingly high sugar content in children’s snacks

A survey compiled by Action on Sugar has found that a third of products surveyed would receive a red or high label for sugars if baby and toddler foods carried the traffic light labelling that other foods display. Experts are calling for better labelling so parents can see the sugar content in all children’s snacks.

Currently, there is a gap in legislation for labelling baby and children’s food and drink with front of pack traffic light labelling which means these products are not required to display them. However, all the products surveyed that would be red (high) for sugars (under the current traffic light system) also featured a claim that Action on Sugar experts say could be distracting and possibly misleading‘Packed with vitamins and minerals’ or ‘Made with real fruit’ – despite containing added sugar, fruit juice concentrates or similar – all of which are free sugars and considered harmful to health.

Action on Sugar is also urging the Government to finally publish its long-awaited composition guidelines for baby & toddler products which will guide manufacturers on how much sugars should be used – making them mandatory in order to create a level-playing field across the sector.

The product survey, which analysed 73 baby and toddler sweet snacks sold in stores, found Heinz Farley’s Mini Rusks Original to be the worst offender with 8.7g of sugars per serve – that’s the equivalent of 2 teaspoons of sugar! Despite the health claims about added vitamins and minerals on pack, this product also contains added sugar. This was followed by Organix Banana Soft Oaty Bars at 8.1g of sugars per serve which are sweetened with apple juice concentrate (a type of free sugars).

Click here to find the full table of survey results.


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