New research warns
Breakfast cereal manufactures are ‘deliberately deceiving shoppers’ by using poor nutrition labelling a new study has found.
Action on Sugar, a leading sugar and health expert group based at Queen Mary University of London, are calling on all food and drink manufactures to use the front of pack (FOP) ‘traffic light’ system on their products.
Research carried out by the group should that many companies are still not using the Department of Health endorsed colour-coded labelling, despite some ‘perceived healthy products’ containing high levels of sugar which would equate to a red warning label.
Twenty-five breakfast cereal manufacturers were surveyed and found that that whilst Bear, Jordans, Kellogg’s and Nestle do use FOP labelling, they do not use Department of Health’s recommended colour-coding.
A further six brands, including Eat Natural, Lizi’s, Nature’s Path, Paleo Foods Co., Rude Health and Dorset Cereals, contain no front of pack nutrition labelling and some products contain high levels of sugar.
Action on Sugar said the lack of colour coded labels make it very difficult for consumers to interpret the information and make informed decisions.
Campaign director Katharine Jenner said: “Shoppers should be seeing red, and they would be if manufacturers used the correct labels.
“It’s scandalous that certain food manufacturers are still refusing to be transparent when it comes to front of pack nutrition labelling.
“If there is no front of pack label with one brand, shoppers should assume they are hiding something – so buy another brand instead.”
The group said that cereal shoppers could save themselves around 45 teaspoons of sugar per month (182g) if they had access to consistent appropriate labelling allowing them to make informed decisions and switch to a lower sugar cereal.
The government backed colour-coding uses red for high, amber for medium and green for low on labels to indicate levels of fat, sugars and salt.
The study highlighted Kellogg’s Crunchy Nut Honey and Nut Clusters and Jordans Country Crisp with Crunchy Chunky Nuts do not use the colour coding labelling, and if they did they would attract amber and red labels for high sugars and fats.
Registered nutritionist Kawther Hashem, researcher at Action on Sugar said: “Consistent labels allow shoppers, at a glance, to see the huge variation in salt and sugar levels in breakfast cereals.
“Many of these cereals, often aimed at children, would receive a red traffic light label for being high in sugars.
A spokesman for Kellogg’s said: “Kellogg’s is committed to improving the nation’s diet.
“Our long-term sugar reduction programme has already seen sugar come down in some of our biggest brands while removing 2,000 tonnes of sugar from the nation’s diet by the end of 2017.”