14 Jul

New report reveals some baby food pouches contain more sugar than fizzy drinks

A new report has revealed that some baby food pouches contain more sugar than fizzy drinks, including Coca Cola. 

A recent survey, which analysed the sugar content of 109 food pouches, showed that more than a quarter of the products had higher sugar content than fizzy drinks. The pouches, which are designed for babies as young as 4 months old, contain sugar levels up to the equivalent of 150% of Coca Cola. The study was conducted by researchers at the British Dental Association. 

The BDA has called for urgent action to reduce sugar content and put a stop to misleading marketing ploys. Dentists claim that parents are buying products due to straplines and information, which indicate that the products are healthy and beneficial for young children. Examples include pouches that contain ‘naturally-occurring sugars’ or ‘no added sugar’ and claims such as ‘nutritionally-approved.’

The products that contained the most sugar used ‘halo labelling,’ which highlights the ‘organic status’ of the pouch, the high fibre content or the ‘1 of your 5-a-day’ benefit. The report warned that parents are being lured in by campaigns and packaging, which don’t include information about sugar content. It also indicated that consuming sugar-laden pouches puts children’s oral health at risk. 

Eddie Crouch, chair of the British Dental Association, criticised “disingenuous marketeers” and said they were misleading parents and making them believe they were giving their children healthy products. He added that “claims of no added sugar are meaningless when mums and dads end up delivering the lion’s share of a can of Coke to their infants.”

Mr Crouch urged the government to “break the UK’s addiction” to sugar, with tooth decay the most common cause of hospital admissions among children. The BDA chair suggested that the next generation is at risk “before they can even walk.”