01 October 2018
Try to avoid sweetened yoghurt

While they are still a healthier choice than a chocolate bar or a biscuit, flavoured yoghurts are packed with sugar. Researchers from the University of Leeds are warning that manufacturers and retailers need to do more to tackle the problem.

Many of the products sold in supermarkets could contribute to child obesity, tooth decay and other health problems due to their high sugar content.

To be classed as ‘low sugar’ and earn a green label on their packaging, food products must contain a maximum of 5g of sugar per 100g. But the Leeds study, which looked at almost 900 yoghurt products available on British supermarket shelves in autumn 2016, has revealed that those aimed at children had on average more than twice this level. Lead researcher Dr Bernadette Moore said she was “shocked and surprised” by their results.

In 2016, Public Health England set the food industry a target to cut sugar in various food product categories by 5% in the first year and 20% by 2020. PHE revealed in May that the industry had largely missed the targets, although the yoghurts category did achieve a 6% reduction.

Natural yoghurt is an important source of nutrients including calcium, protein and vitamin B12, and is linked to digestive benefits. We recommend that parents of young children introduce them to natural yoghurt with fruit mashed up, and let older children add nuts, granola or other healthy items into the mix.

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