Well being campaigners mentioned mother and father who need to do the very best for his or her youngsters are being “tricked” into shopping for fruit-based snacks that are the truth is excessive in sugar.
Holly Gabriel, a nutritionist at Motion on Sugar, instructed The Telegraph: “It’s extremely regarding that many individuals, particularly mother and father, are sometimes tricked into selecting these fruit-based snacks considering they’re selecting more healthy merchandise, solely to search out this stuff are excessive in free sugars, and with minimal dietary worth.
“Claims on packs corresponding to ‘No added colors’ and ‘considered one of your 5 a day’ mislead mother and father that these are an appropriate snack, with many stating: ‘Nice for youths.’ While it ought to be necessary for these merchandise to be included in reformulation programmes, it’s important that the upcoming labelling evaluations within the UK leads to modifications to those practises.
“Together with the numerous different well being impacts of extreme free sugar consumption, these snacks are contributing to tooth decay in youngsters and ought to be classed as confectionary and never wholesome snacks.”
In addition to Percy Pig sweets, offered by M&S, Motion on Sugar and the Dental Wellness Belief additionally highlighted a lot of different supposedly wholesome snacks which they described as dangerous. These embrace Graze Tremendous Snackers Strawberry, Fruit Bowl Yogurt Raisins and Bear Pure Fruit Yoyos Strawberry, which they are saying are excessive in sugar.
Graze is promoted as “excessive in fibre. Actual fruit. No synthetic sweeteners, colors, flavours or preservatives. These bars have 50 per cent much less sugar than the common cereal bar and with a recipe made with assist from youngsters. Much less sugar, prime style”.
Fruit Bowl’s Yogurt Raisins are marketed as “best as a snack. Irresistible, intensely fruity, and extremely moreish. Fruit made enjoyable. Yummy, yummy yogurt coated raisins”.
June O’Sullivan, the CEO of the London Early Years Basis, mentioned: “It is already a battle for fogeys to totally perceive what’s ‘wholesome’ with out meals producers complicated issues additional with deceptive claims and snacks packed stuffed with sugar that are marketed closely in the direction of youngsters.
“At a time when practically 40 per cent of all London’s youngsters are chubby or affected by weight problems, and the very best charges happen within the areas of best deprivation, that is extremely irresponsible behaviour.”
Dr Saul Konviser, of the Dental Wellness Belief, mentioned: “Added sugar has discovered its approach into nearly all meals, and using sugar as a way to calm, entertain, or reward youngsters has develop into normalised, whereas the truth is it does fairly the other and so sugar ought to be an occasional deal with.
“Except for the well-known well being issues of weight problems and diabetes, the widespread availability of sugar results in a lot toothache and struggling, not simply in youngsters however in adults too.”
Graze defended its Tremendous Snackers vary as “scrumptious wholegrain oat bars which can be all underneath 100 kcals with 50 per cent much less sugar than the common cereal bar”.
A spokesman mentioned: “All three recipes include lower than 3g sugar per bar. The explanation we add some sugar isn’t solely to create nice tasting merchandise nevertheless it’s additionally actually necessary for binding and texture in baked items.
“As a model we strongly consider ‘pure’ is the very best coverage in relation to well being and in relation to sugar. We might by no means allow any synthetic sweeteners in any of our merchandise to attain decrease sugar ranges, like another manufacturers do.
“Golden syrup and liquid sugar are varieties of sucrose sugar, very similar to cane sugar, and assist us give our cereal bars an ideal style and texture. We additionally add dried fruit into the combo for pure sweetness. We have managed decrease sugar content material in our youngsters’ product by changing sugar with naturally candy chicory root fibre.
“We additionally need to be clear that we don’t promote or promote these merchandise to youngsters, in accordance with the Unilever ideas on advertising to youngsters.”
Fruit Bowl mentioned: “Fruit Bowl Yogurt Raisins are clearly positioned otherwise out there to Fruit Bowl’s wider vary, which the model communicates by means of the packaging design and the language on pack.
“Yogurt Raisins are clearly marked as a ‘yummy deal with’ on entrance of pack, reasonably than an on a regular basis snack. Whereas Fruit Bowl Yogurt Raisins include actual fruit and no added colors or flavours, we make no claims corresponding to excessive fibre or one of a kid’s 5 a day on this vary.”
Henry Dimbleby, the founding father of the Leon restaurant chain and creator of the Authorities’s Nationwide Meals Technique, took specific purpose at M&S for its Percy Pig sweets, marketed as containing all pure fruit juice and offered at child- peak in shops regardless of the primary 4 elements listed being types of sugar, corresponding to fructose syrup and glucose-fructose syrup.
Mr Dimbleby mentioned a part of the issue was that well-meaning mother and father have been giving youngsters unhealthy snacks corresponding to raisins which have been “clothed in a veneer of goodness and really could also be no higher for you than a Mars Bar”.
An M&S spokesman mentioned: “All our merchandise have clear labelling in order that prospects could make knowledgeable decisions about what they purchase. All our Percy Pigs are made with pure fruit juices and no synthetic colors or flavourings, and final yr we additionally launched a spread of Percy Pigs with one third much less sugar.”