More than 200 branded baby and toddler foods fail to meet WHO nutritional standards, study warns… so is YOUR child on the list?

An international study has found that more than 200 branded baby and toddler food products in the UK do not meet the World Health Organisation’s marketing and nutrition standards.

Two-thirds of products aimed at children aged six months to three years from Heinz, Nestlé, Danone, Hipp, Hero and Hain Celestial contained excess sugar, salt or calories.

The rest were found to be deceptively marketed as low-nutrient snacks, purees, cereals and ready meals labeled as ‘healthy’.

Of the 1,297 products assessed internationally, including 218 sold in UK supermarkets, none were deemed suitable for promotion to children.

Of the 1,297 products assessed internationally, including 218 sold in UK supermarkets, none were deemed suitable for promotion to children. Pictured, one of the products that failed to meet WHO’s nutrition and marketing standards: Kraft Heinz Heinz Peach Multigrain Porridge for Babies from 7 months

The brands studied have more than 53 percent of the market share.  The UK has the second largest number of these products after Italy.  Pictured, one of the products that failed to meet WHO nutrition and marketing standards: Hain Celestial's Ellas Kitchen Summer Pudding For Babies From 7 Months

The brands studied have more than 53 percent of the market share. The UK has the second largest number of these products after Italy. Pictured, one of the products that failed to meet WHO nutrition and marketing standards: Hain Celestial’s Ellas Kitchen Summer Pudding For Babies From 7 Months

Greg Garrett, from the global non-profit Access to Nutrition Initiative (ATNI) which carried out the research, said new regulations are needed to control the nutrient composition and marketing of baby and toddler foods .

“There is a worrying trend in the nutritional quality of commercial baby foods for babies and young children in several countries,” he said. ‘We must ensure that the welfare of young children is not neglected.

“That’s why we need industry to take the right steps, corporate shareholders to invest responsibly and policymakers to improve regulations.”

The brands studied have more than 53 percent of the market share.

The UK has the second largest number of these products after Italy.

Results varied between companies, with Kraft Heinz having the highest percentage of products meeting nutrient composition requirements at around 42 per cent, followed by Hero at 39 per cent and Danone at 38 per cent .

The researchers said 88 per cent of Hain Celestial products sold in the UK should have a “high sugar” warning label on the front of the pack.

The same happened with 60% of Hero, 50% of Hipp, 46% of Kraft Heinz and seven percent of Danone products.

The study said the new regulations should ban the use of added sugars and sweeteners, limit sugar and sodium content, and ban misleading marketing and labeling practices.

Governments should introduce mandatory warning labels on products with high levels of sugar to help parents make healthier food choices for babies and toddlers, he added.

ATNI is calling for more support for parents to make informed food choices, to help end the international epidemics of obesity, tooth decay, heart disease, diabetes and other conditions caused by poor food choices.

The study said the new regulations should ban the use of added sugars and sweeteners, limit sugar and sodium content, and ban misleading marketing and labeling practices.  Pictured, one of the products that failed to meet WHO nutrition and marketing standards: Hipp Organic Apple And Pear For babies from 4 months by Hipp

The study said the new regulations should ban the use of added sugars and sweeteners, limit sugar and sodium content, and ban misleading marketing and labeling practices. Pictured, one of the products that failed to meet WHO nutrition and marketing standards: Hipp Organic Apple And Pear For babies from 4 months by Hipp

WHO guidelines say that babies and young children should not be given foods high in sugar, salt and trans fat or drinks containing sugar or sugar-free sweeteners.  Porridges for babies from 6 months from Danone

WHO guidelines say that babies and young children should not be given foods high in sugar, salt and trans fat or drinks containing sugar or sugar-free sweeteners. Porridges for babies from 6 months from Danone

WHO guidelines say that babies and young children should not be given foods high in sugar, salt and trans fat or drinks containing sugar or sugar-free sweeteners.

They add that consumption of 100 percent fruit juice should be “limited.”

In response to the study’s findings, a Kraft Heinz spokesman said the company was committed to “making accessible, high-quality food” in accordance with “international food standards and local laws and regulations.” .

It also supports “the WHO recommendation that infants be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life, followed by the introduction of nutritionally adequate and safe complementary foods,” they added.

They said: “We are committed to transparent communications about the nutrition of all our products, empowering consumers to make informed decisions that meet their needs and lifestyle preferences.”

Meanwhile, a Nestl spokesperson added: “We share the same goals as ATNI to accelerate sustainable access to nutritious food.

“We also support independent benchmarking that can help differentiate practices within an industry.

“However, the approach adopted by ATNI does not provide these positive results. The methodology adopted may unfairly penalize companies with a large portfolio.

“Everywhere we operate, we comply with all local regulations, as well as our Nestlé Policy to implement the Code, whichever is stricter.”

A Hero spokesperson said: “All products marketed by Hero, including in the UK, comply with local legislation on safety and nutritional requirements.

“In addition, Hero adheres to internal nutritional and safety standards that exceed current regulatory requirements.”

HOW SHOULD A BALANCED DIET BE?

Meals should be based on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally wholegrain, according to the NHS

Meals should be based on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally wholegrain, according to the NHS

Eat at least 5 servings of a variety of fruits and vegetables each day. All fresh, frozen, dried and canned fruits and vegetables count

Meals are based on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally whole grains

30 grams of fiber per day: This is the same as eating all of the following: 5 servings of fruits and vegetables, 2 whole grain crackers, 2 thick slices of whole grain bread, and large baked potatoes with the skin on.

Have some dairy or dairy alternatives (like soy drinks) by choosing low-fat, low-sugar options

Eat beans, legumes, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins (including 2 portions of fish each week, one of which should be fatty)

Choose unsaturated and spreadable oils and consume them in small amounts

Drink 6-8 cups/glasses of water a day

Adults should have less than 6g of salt and 20g of saturated fat for women or 30g for men per day.

Source: NHS Eatwell Guide

#branded #baby #toddler #foods #fail #meet #nutritional #standards #study #warns.. #child #list
Image Source : www.dailymail.co.uk

Leave a Comment