According to a U.K. study, certain kinds of yogurt tend to be an “unrecognized” source of dietary sugar, especially for young children who consume a lot of this dairy product.
Earlier studies have confirmed that yogurt and other fermented dairy products are good for your digestion and overall well-being. Yogurt also contains “good” bacteria, and it is rich in calcium, iodine, protein, and vitamin B.
Both U.K. and U.S. dietary guidelines recommend low-fat and low-sugar dairy products. For the study, the authors set out to determine how far yogurt products, especially those that are marketed to children, meet these guidelines.
The researchers examined the nutrient content of at least 900 yogurts and yogurt products. The products were all sold at five major online supermarket chains from October to November 2016 in the U.K. Between them, the supermarket chains accounted for 75 percent of the market share.
Low-fat and low-sugar products were classified according to European Union regulations which are currently used for the front of pack food traffic light labeling system used in the U.K.: 3 grams (g) of fat per 100 g or less or 1.5 g or less for drinks; and a maximum of 5 g of total sugars/100 g.
The analysis revealed that there was a huge discrepancy in the sugar content both within and across the categories. With the exception of natural/Greek yogurts, the average sugar content of products in all the categories was “well above the low sugar threshold.”
Fewer than one in 10 products qualified as low sugar. None of these products belonged to the children’s category. The researchers note that this is alarming, especially because of the rise in childhood obesity and the prevalence of tooth decay in young children.
The desserts contained the most total sugar, with an average of 16.4 g/100 g. This accounts for over 45 percent of energy intake.
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