Sugar content of most supermarket yogurts well above recommended threshold

Sugar content of most supermarket yogurts well above recommended threshold

Apart from Greek yogurt, almost all other yogurts on British supermarket shelves proved to have more sugar than the recommended daily requirement, according to a new study.

Researchers from the University of Leeds examined 921 of the most popular yogurts and warn they are an "unrecognized source" of sugar.

In our survey of yogurts sold in the United Kingdom, we found that less than 10% were low sugar - nearly none of which were children's yogurts. The median sugar content for organic yogurts was 13.1 grams per 100 gram serving, and some brands had nearly 17 grams of sugar per 100 gram serving.

A new study shows that added sugars in yogurt are contributing to the obesity epidemic.

However, only those labelled "natural" or "Greek" qualified as low-sugar products.

All the products were grouped into eight categories: children's, which included fromage frais; dairy alternatives, such as soy; desserts; drinks; flavoured; fruit; natural/Greek; and organic.

According to Lindsay Moyer, a Senior Nutritionist at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, consumers may get around 25 percent or more of the WHO's recommended daily sugar limit for adults (from 25 to 50 grams or less than 10 percent of total energy) from just one serving of yogurt.

With the exception of natural/Greek yogurts, the average sugar content of products in all the categories was well above the low sugar threshold.

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It's important to note that food labels in the United Kingdom report nutritional contents differently than in the U.S. Every component is based on a standard 100 gram portion rather than the classic U.S.

This is "concerning", given the rise in childhood obesity and the prevalence of tooth decay among young children, researchers said.

"People do look at organic products and think they're better for them - if you ask consumers, their responses are that they think they are healthier", she said.

But she is quick to point out that yogurt is not the worst option in the grocery store: "If you are a parent and you are choosing between a Coca-Cola, a chocolate biscuit [cookie]...or a sweetened yogurt, then by all means give your child the yogurt - you'll get some calcium, you'll get some protein, and you may get some probiotic".

'Retailers could play a positive role in promoting health by establishing boundaries for lunchbox recommendations and clearly labelling the amount of added sugar'.

Under current NHS guidelines four to six-year-olds should have no more than 19 grams of sugar a day.

Yet, the halo effect of yogurt is powerful, and for Moore, this is perhaps the most significant implication of the study. But most of the sugar in high-sugar yogurts is free sugar, even for many fruit yogurts. Greek and natural yogurts were the least sugary varieties, with an average of five grams per 100 grams.

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