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"Healthy" Snacks Loaded with Sugar and Salt

Saturday, March 13, 2010 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: health food, snacks, health news


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(NaturalNews) Many children's snacks marketed as healthy alternatives are actually full of unhealthy ingredients like sugar, salt and fat, according to an analysis conducted by the consumer watchdog organization Which?.

"Parents should be able to pick out healthy products for their kids' lunchboxes, but what you see isn't always what you get," said the group's Martyn Hocking.

"Many [products] declare that they don't contain additives, but don't mention they're also full of salt or sugar giving the impression they're healthier than they are," the report reads.

For example, while Dairylea Lunchables Ham 'n' Cheese Crackers are advertised as providing half of the recommended daily calcium for a child, nowhere on the label or in promotional materials does the company acknowledge that the product is high in fat, saturated fat and salt -- containing 1.8 grams of the maximum daily recommended 3 grams of the latter.

The report also singles out Kellogg's Frosties Cereal and Milk bars, which the company promotes by saying, ""Fortified with vitamins, iron and calcium, now you can give your kids a great tasting snack that you can be sure won't come back from school in the lunchbox!" Yet the company does not explain that the bars contain seven different sugar ingredients and thus are nearly one-third sugar by weight.

Other supposedly healthy products that are actually high in sugar include Robinson's Fruit Shoot orange juice drinks, with nearly five teaspoons (23 grams) or sugar in a single 200 milliliter bottle; Fruit Factory fruit strings, with 13.7 grams of sugar in a 24 gram product; and Munch Bunch Double Up fromage frais, which contain only 2.25 grams of fruit puree but more than two teaspoons (12.4 grams) of sugar.

"The best way to beat the lunchbox baddies is by checking the nutrition and ingredient information," Hocking said. "We'd also like to see the rules on health and nutrition claims made tougher, so there's less confusion on the supermarket shelves."

Sources for this story include: www.guardian.co.uk.

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