Only Greek yogurt passes the ‘low sugar’ test

Study Finds Children's Yogurts are Packed with Sugar

"However, we found that in numerous yoghurt products marketed towards children, a single serving could contain close to half of a child's recommended daily maximum sugar intake".

Dessert yogurts contained the most sugar, not surprisingly, but children's yogurts and organic yogurts had nearly as much.

They found fewer than one in 10 of all products (9%) and only 2% of children's yoghurts were classed as low in sugar, and contained the level required to carry a green "traffic light" nutritional label which is considered a healthy choice.

As some states rightfully start to look at reducing sugar consumption from soft drinks, scientists underline another potential source of unneeded sugar: yogurt.

One finding of the study that might come as a surprise to consumers is that organic yogurts were some of the sweetest of all. In fact, some contain as much sugar as soda.

"It can be a great source of protein, calcium, and vitamin B12".

"While yogurt may be less of a concern than soft drinks and fruit juices, the chief sources of free sugars in both children and adult's diets, what is worrisome is that yogurt, as a perceived "healthy food", may be an unrecognized source of free/added sugars", the authors wrote.

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"However, as this research shows, there is much more manufacturers can do to reduce the sugar added to their products, particularly the ones aimed at children". All the yogurts were categorized as natural/Greek, desserts, organic, flavored, fruit, children's, dairy alternatives, etc. For a small 85g pot that equates to 9g of sugar - more than two teaspoons and almost half the NHS recommended daily allowance of 19g for four- to six-year-olds.

Although yoghurt has always been considered a healthy food, experts warn that numerous products sold in supermarkets could contribute to child obesity, tooth decay and other health problems due to their high sugar content.

The survey examined the sugar and nutrient content of yogurts across eight product categories. The Government is targeting yogurt as part of its childhood obesity plan, and wants companies to remove 20 per cent of sugar by 2020.

Yet, the halo effect of yogurt is powerful, and for Moore, this is perhaps the most significant implication of the study.

Organic yogurts were found to have the highest average sugar content - with roughly 13.1 grams of sugar per 100 grams.

As a result, it fails to take into account the sugar reduction the industry has already achieved. 'Yogurts contain natural sugar from the milk, as well as any fruit that's included'. And experts say those sugars can add up quickly.

Yoghurts do contain naturally occurring sugar, called lactose, but United Kingdom labeling laws do not require manufacturers to declare added sugars, the authors said.

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