Lunchbox study of added sugar in fruit snacks

Wednesday, 02 February, 2022

Lunchbox study of added sugar in fruit snacks

Cancer Council WA is cautioning parents about the sugar content of their kids’ snacks, after a recent study suggested that these snacks have a high level of added sugar.

More than two-thirds of 56 packaged fruit snacks in the study contained 15 g of sugar per 100 g, and 43% of the snacks analysed were made up of at least half sugar, according to Alex Dreyer, project officer for Crunch&Sip, a nutritional program for school children that was involved with the analysis of the products in the study.

Dreyer argued that the study highlighted that added sugar is not being adequately labelled on these products.

“Despite their healthy sounding names, ingredients such as fruit paste, concentrated puree, fruit juice concentrate and corn syrup are just added sugar, and another sneaky way that brands use a health halo to market their products to parents,” Dreyer said.

“Sugars found naturally in snacks like plain yoghurt and whole fruit come with the goodness of protein, calcium and fibre so there’s no need to avoid these types of foods, it’s added sugars that parents need to be on the lookout for.”

Food Standards Australia New Zealand recently released its review into labelling food with its added sugar content, with future plans in place to adjust the nutritional information panel to include more visible references to added sugar.

If such plans are put into motion, the sorts of fruit snacks that are popular in lunchboxes around the country will need to be labelled in a way that shows added sugar more clearly.

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