Fruit snacks sold as a healthy-eating option to children contain more sugar than sweets, a campaign group says.
There are high sugar levels in fruit snacks
Action on Sugar investigated 94 products on the shelves in the UK such as dried fruit and found that 85% contained more sugar than a packet of Haribo sweets. Health experts have described the findings as frightening.
Action on Sugar has urged parents to give their children fresh fruit and vegetables instead of processed fruit snacks. The industry has said that all products are clearly labelled with their sugar content and most have no added sugar.
Campaigners have called on manufacturers to stop adding sugars to fruit-based foods and labelling them as part of five-a-day.
Colin Michie, chairman of the nutrition committee at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said the investigation’s results were ‘frightening’.
He said: “None of us needs sugar in our diets at all. It is all completely unnecessary.
“Fruit contains fibre, which we all need to function properly, but in these snacks the benefits of fruit have been sacrificed by covering in yoghurt and other sugary coatings.”
Tooth decay is also concerning health experts who say high levels of sugar are causing problems for young children and their teeth.
Aubrey Sheiham, emeritus professor of dental public health at University College London, said: “Tooth decay is the most common cause of pain in children and the main reason why children are admitted to hospital.
“The worldwide epidemic of tooth decay will only be controlled when manufacturers markedly reduce the levels of sugars in their products.”
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