Only 1 in 20 children’s yoghurts contain ‘healthy’ sugar levels

Action on Sugar are calling for an end to misleading parents with health claims on yoghurts that are aimed at children. 

Nutritional claims such as ‘source of calcium and vitamin D’ and ‘high in protein’ were often seen on the packaging, as well as health claims such as highlighting that these nutrients are good for healthy bones . These can then make the yoghurt appear healthy and can often distract the parents from looking at the nutritional information.

The sugar content of over 100 yoghurts with cartoons and packaging aimed at children were looked at.  The survey found that only 5% of these child friendly yoghurts contained low levels (less than 5g per 100g) of sugar.  It is recommended that 4 - 6 year olds have no more than 19 g of sugar a day, however the survey found that 63% contained a third or more of this in one serving. The worst offender contained 22g of sugar per serving.

While 77% of the yoghurts were low in fat (less than 3g per 100g) it was found that 67% were either medium (1.6g - 5g per 100g) or high (over 5g per 100g) in saturated fat which is the fat that contributes to poor heart health.

Registered Nutritionist Dr Kawther Hashem, Campaign Lead at Action on Sugar says,  

“Parents can easily be misled when walking through the yoghurt aisle in the supermarket. Often companies try to avert our eyes from seeing the significant amount of sugar listed in the ingredients and nutrition tables, by using healthy sounding claims and cartoony images on the front of pack.  

 “Given only 5% of yogurts with child friendly packaging would have a green coloured label as being ‘healthy’ for sugar, food companies must make every effort to reduce the sugar in these products, particularly the ones targeted so explicitly towards children.” 

Only 1 in 20 children’s yoghurts contain ‘healthy’ sugar levels