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‘Healthy’ Foods for Children Contain More Sugar, Fat, and Salt

Researchers at the University of Hertfordshire believe that foods marketed to children in UK supermarkets are less healthy compared to those marketed to the general population. They question the necessity for more guidelines to regulate entry of these foods into the market.

The European government has expressed concern over the rising childhood obesity across the country giving more attention to reducing the advertisement of products with high fat, sugar, and/or salt levels directly to children.  The research found out that the so-called ‘healthy foods’ such as yoghurts, cereal bars and ready meals were still found to contain high fat, sugar, and salt.

Consumers may be made to believe that foods for children are healthier than the equivalent foods for adults, which is the exact opposite, according to Dr. Kirsten Rennie, from the Center for Lifespan and Chronic Illness Research of the University of Hertfordshire.  Yoghurts and cereal bars had more fat and sugar per 100g than the similar foods for adults.

Classification as to children’s or non-children’s products was based on nutritional data collected on yoghurts, cereal bars and ready meals from seven major supermarkets.

This study was coordinated by Amy Lythgow who graduated with a BSc(Hons) Dietetics in 2011 said Dr. Angela Madden, Principal Lecturer in Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Hertfordshire.  The evidence gathered by Amy and the team will increase awareness of parents in choosing healthy foods for their children and on one hand, will give manufacturers the opportunity to improve on their child-oriented products.


University of Hertfordshire. Children’s ‘healthy’ foods marketed at children are higher in fat, sugar and salt. ScienceDaily.


Posted in: Food, Healthy Eating, Kid's Health, News Briefs, Parenting, Sugar

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