Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
Schools breeding hatred
access_time 14 Sep 2023 10:37 AM GMT
access_time 16 Aug 2023 5:46 AM GMT
Ramadan: Its essence and lessons
access_time 13 March 2024 9:24 AM GMT
Homechevron_rightBusinesschevron_rightNestle baby foods have...

Nestle baby foods have added sugars in poorer nations: report


Nestlé, the world's largest consumer goods company, has been accused of adding sugar and honey to its infant milk and cereal products sold in many low- and middle-income countries.

This practice goes against international guidelines aimed at preventing obesity and chronic diseases.

According to a report by Public Eye, a Swiss investigative organization, Nestlé's products in its main European markets, including the UK, are in contrast and do not contain added sugar in formulas for young children. While some cereals for older toddlers have added sugar, products targeted at babies between six months and one year are sugar-free.

Tests conducted on Cerelac products in different countries showed varying levels of added sugar. For instance, biscuit-flavoured cereals for babies aged six months and older contained 6g of added sugar per serving in Senegal and South Africa. In contrast, the same product sold in Switzerland had no added sugar.

Public Eye campaigners sent samples of Nestlé's baby food products from Asia, Africa, and Latin America to a Belgian laboratory for testing. The results, along with an examination of product packaging, indicated the presence of added sugar in Nido, a milk formula for infants aged one and above, and Cerelac, a cereal for children aged between six months and two years. The added sugar was found in the form of sucrose or honey.

Laurent Gaberell, Public Eye's agriculture and nutrition expert, commented on the findings, saying, “Nestlé must put an end to these dangerous double standards and stop adding sugar in all products for children under three years old, in every part of the world.”

Obesity rates are rising in low- and middle-income countries. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the number of overweight children under five in Africa has increased by nearly 23% since 2000. Globally, over 1 billion people are living with obesity.

Consumers find it challenging to determine the sugar content of a product based solely on the nutritional information printed on the packaging. Labels often combine naturally occurring sugars in milk and fruit with added sugars under the same heading.

WHO guidelines for the European region stipulate that no added sugars or sweetening agents should be permitted in food for children under three. Although no specific guidance has been issued for other regions, researchers believe the European guidelines are equally relevant globally.

The UK recommends that children under four avoid foods with added sugars due to risks like weight gain and tooth decay. Similarly, US government guidelines advise against foods and drinks with added sugars for those under two.

Public Eye's report, produced in collaboration with the International Baby Food Action Network, revealed that global retail sales of Cerelac exceed $1bn, with 40% of sales in Brazil and India alone.

Dr. Nigel Rollins, a medical officer at the WHO, criticized the findings as “a double standard […] that can’t be justified.”

Nestlé responded to the findings by emphasizing its commitment to the nutritional quality of its products for early childhood. A company spokesperson stated, “We believe in the nutritional quality of our products for early childhood and prioritise using high-quality ingredients adapted to the growth and development of children.”

Show Full Article
TAGS:NestleFood SafetyBaby Foods
Next Story