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Thursday, 1 August 2013

For Something as "Simple" as Yogurt

I am sure that, without exception, every parent that does the shopping with their kid has experienced this; your child systematically pulling stuff of the shelves to eat - usually in bright and shiny confectionery wrappers!

My strategy has always been to allow miss two to pick from a range of squeezy baby food, because it is usually healthy, and she likes it. Recently we have branched out to squeezy yogurt.

I look at the ingredients for everything, and was pretty dismayed when i was reading the ingredients for each and every squeezy yogurt marketed as a "kids" product. Most of them carried sugar as their second ingredient (which means, aside from milk solids, sugar was the next biggest ingredient). As a food for kids, this is unacceptable.

Australia is now the worlds fattest nation, with Monash University finding that if current trends continue, 80% of all Australians will be overweight by 2025.

That, and studies like Harvard's School of Public Health (USA): Resolved: there is sufficient scientific evidence that decreasing sugar-sweetened beverage consumption will reduce the prevalence of obesity and obesity-related diseases, which show a clear link between added sugar, obesity, and other health issues. At some point someone has to take this seriously.

It is one thing for an adult, with the ability to read a packet, and understand the risks, to chose a food with added sugar. It is another to give them to your child, who has no ability to differentiate or chose, other than by what tastes good.

A quick note, not all of the % sugar in these products is added. Sugar in it's natural context is not what i have an issue with. The grams are per serve.

Pauls: Sugar as the 5th ingredient. 8.5g carbohydrate, of which 8.2g are sugar. This product is almost 12% sugar.

Moshi Monster: Sugar as the 2nd ingredient. 10.2g of carbohydrate, of which 8.5g are sugar. This product is over 12% sugar.

Ski: Sugar is the 2nd ingredient. 9.2g carbohydrate, of which 8.5g are sugar. This product is also around 12% sugar.

Mini Organics: Sugar is the 3rd ingredient. 12.3g carbohydrate, of which 10.3g are sugar. This product is almost 15% sugar.
Yoplait: Sugar is the 2nd ingredient. 9.5g carbohydrate, of which 8.3g are sugar. This product is also almost 14% sugar.

Danone: Sugar is the 2nd ingredient. 9.4g carbohydrate, of which 8.9g are sugar. This product is also 13% sugar.

Va'alia: Sugar is the 5th ingredient. One of the better choices if you are going to choose a squeezy packet yogurt. 7.4g carbohydrate, of which 7g are sugar. This product is still 10% sugar.

For comparison's sake, Chobani: NO ADDED SUGAR! Chobani is plain yogurt, that is milk and bacteria.  7.5g carbohydrate, of which 6.9g are sugar. This product is has only 4% sugar. A suggestion for at home, buy this kind of yogurt and add a spot of honey or some fresh fruit to flavor. 

Another comparison, Dairy Farmer's full fat: No added sugar. 7.2g carbohydrate, of which 7.2g are sugar. This product is 7% sugar. The grams in this tub and the Chobani are per 100g, which is 30-50% bigger than the serves in the squeezy packets for kids (and they still have less sugar).
BINGO! Rafferty's Garden: No added sugar.  16.8g carbohydrate, of which 15.7g are sugar. This product is 17% sugar. I prefer it because the sugar is from banana and mango, and is therefor in it's natural context.

It is interesting when reading the packets, that what i perceive as the best choice is also the highest sugar. The problem for me is added sugar. At home, where we eat only natural, unflavoured, yogurt, adding fresh fruit or honey will increase the sugar content. However it also increases the fibre and nutrition content, whereas just adding sugar does not. Fibre is a digestive-tract cancer-fighter! Added sugar increases your risk of digestive tract cancers.

I have read every squeezy food packet in Woolworths, Coles, and IGA, and have added some suggestions for you when giving yogurt from a squeezy packet to your kids (captioned under each photo). The above is just a handful of what's available. For other foods, feel free to "comment" or email me ( and i will look them up for you!

Monash University Modi: Breakthrough Treatments in Obesity and Diabetes Fact Sheet

 2013 Aug;14(8):606-19. doi: 10.1111/obr.12040. Epub 2013 Jun 13. Resolved: there is sufficient scientific evidence that decreasing sugar-sweetened beverage consumption will reduce the prevalence of obesity and obesity-related diseases. Departments of Nutrition and Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA; Channing Division of Network Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

 2013 Jul;16(4):434-9. doi: 10.1097/MCO.0b013e328361c8b8.Sugar addiction: pushing the drug-sugar analogy to the limit. Ahmed SHGuillem KVandaele Y. Universit√© de Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France.

 2013 Jul;24(7):1427-36. doi: 10.1007/s10552-013-0222-0. Epub 2013 May 9.Consumption of sugary foods and drinks and risk of endometrial cancer. King MGChandran UOlson SHDemissie KLu SEParekh NBandera EV. The Cancer Institute of New Jersey, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick, NJ 08903, USA.

 2013 Aug;8(4):242-8. doi: 10.1111/j.2047-6310.2013.00171.x. Epub 2013 Apr 29.Calorie-sweetened beverages and fructose: what have we learned 10 years later. Bray GAPopkin BMPennington Biomedical Research Center, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, USA

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