Study finds many foods aimed at babies, toddlers packed with sugar

June 29, 2010 in Nutrition Topics in the News

Study finds many foods aimed at babies, toddlers packed with sugar
More than half of the packaged foods marketed to babies and toddlers in Canada have too much sugar according to new study findings from researchers at the University of Calgary.

While some baby foods have naturally occurring sugar, such as pureed and stewed fruit, researchers found many products have levels of added sugar that are unhealthy.

Researchers evaluated more than 180 food products marketed to babies and toddlers in Canada.  Foods with more than 20 per cent of their calories derived from sugar were deemed "nutritionally poor".

The study found more than half, or a whopping 53 per cent of the products were too high in sugar and considered unhealthy.  Researchers also found that 40 per cent of products listed sugar, or some sugar variant such as corn syrup, cane syrup, brown sugar, or dextrose in the first four ingredients on the label.  While almost 20 percent of products listed added sugar as either the first or second ingredient.

Researchers note that assessing sugar levels in baby and toddler foods can be difficult, especially since there is currently no universally accepted standard for how much sugar children should get each day, as Health Canada offers no direct recommendations on sugar intake for young children or toddlers.

The latest findings, funded by the Centre for Science in the Public Interest Canada highlight the need for parents and caregivers to carefully read labels on food for babies and toddlers.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.