COLOURFUL, child-friendly packaging should be taken off cereal and yoghurt with high levels of sugar and put on healthier food instead, a team of specialists have said.
Action on Sugar tested a big selection of products and found that 47% of cereals and 65% of yoghurts contained one-third of the maximum daily amount of sugar recommended for four to six-year-olds.
Some products contained as much as four teaspoons of sugar in each serving. The NHS says that kids aged four to six should have no more than five teaspoons of sugar per day. For seven to ten-year-olds, it’s six.
Nestlé, Lidl and Aldi were found to be the worst offenders, with the highest sugars on average across their cereals and yoghurts with packaging targeted at children.
Dr Kawther Hashem, from Action on Sugar, said: “With tooth decay being the leading cause of child hospitalisation, now is the time for companies to be forced to remove child-appealing packaging from products that are misleading parents and making our children unhealthy and sick.”
Bright colours and cartoon characters are often used on food packaging to tempt kids. Action on Sugar is calling for this type of packaging to instead be used on healthier products.
Cereal and yoghurt brands cut the sugar in their products between 2015 and 2020, but they still fell short of the 20% target set by the Government’s Sugar Reduction Programme.
In 2021, the Government said it would ban TV adverts for sugary products during peak viewing times for children, but then delayed that until 2025. However, there are no restrictions on the designs of the packaging of these products on supermarket shelves.
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