5 Sep 2010

Snacks have more sugar than donuts

Snacks have more sugar than donuts
By Daniel Jones and Clare Kane, 05/09/2010
POPULAR snacks aimed at babies and toddlers contain TWICE the sugar in donuts.
HEALTH FOOD? jam donut
Top-selling Farley's Rusks are so stuffed with it they provide HALF a youngster's daily allowance in just three biscuits.
Other foods including baby porridge contain more than vanilla ice cream and rich tea biscuits.
Most would get a red warning light for high sugar levels using guidelines from the Government's Food Standards Agency.
Rusks, now made by Heinz, are a shocking 29 per cent sugar. Each 17g biscuit contains 4.9g of sugar - more than a teaspoon.
Asda Mini Ring Sugared Donuts have just 15.8 per cent sugar. Experts say toddlers should have no more than around 30g of sugar a day in a healthy diet.
Tooth decay and obesity in children, linked to heart disease and diabetes in later life, are blamed on high sugar consumption.
Our researchers checked the content of popular baby snacks, part of a baby food market worth an estimated £315million a year.
Our graphic (left) shows how many teaspoons of sugar we found in popular snacks. Many contained more than 15g per 100g, which is above recommended levels. Food must have less than 5g per 100g to be classed low in sugar.
Nutritionist Helen Bond said: "Added sugar like that found in children's snacks serves one purpose - to provide calories.
"As we all know, kids eating too many calories and not exercising enough is the reason for the growing obesity problem among UK children.
"It is better for children to get their sweet fix from sugar found naturally in food such as fruit and milk, which has added goodness."
The FSA has no official guideline figures for sugar intake but experts say just ten per cent of calories should come from added sugars.
A Heinz spokesman said: "Reduced sugar rusks providing 30 per cent less sugar than Farley's Original Rusks are also available, including a wholemeal variety.
"The level of added sugars in these recipes is kept to a minimum consistent with the need to provide a biscuit-like texture which also dissolves easily to avoid choking.
"In this respect Farley's Rusks are very different from typical biscuits. They also contain very little fat - less than 2g per Rusk - and, in keeping with the special nutritional needs of infants, contain no added salt."

Instead of spending millions on fluoridation why not use it to fix the real problem or would that upset too many manufacturers?

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