YOGHURTS branded healthy can come close to sending children over their daily sugar limit in a single helping, campaigners have warned.
Public Health Liverpool said its own analysis found that some yoghurts contain the equivalent of almost five sugar cubes.
NHS guidelines say children aged between four and six should have no more than 19g or five cubes of free sugar (sugar not ‘locked in’ naturally to products) a day, while seven-to-10-year-olds should have no more than six cubes.
Muller Corner yoghurts were found to hold 4.9 sugar cubes, while Asda’s own brand contained 4.5, and Petits Filous, 2.2.
Beth Bradshaw, from Food Active, said: ‘The issue with fruit in a lot of pre-packaged yoghurts is that it has been processed and altered to be almost unrecognisable.
‘Yoghurt is such a healthy and delicious food to give children. It should feature in their diet on a daily basis because it’s full of calcium, which helps promote healthy bone development and is a really good source of protein.
‘The golden rule is to opt for plain yoghurt as a starting point – plain low fat Greek and natural yoghurts are delicious and are much lower in added sugars. Plus you can add in your own tasty fruit flavours just the way your child likes them.’
Public Health Liverpool is to highlight its findings with a media campaign across health centres, dentists’ surgeries, children’s centres and hospitals over the coming months.
A Müller spokesman said: ‘We’ve taken 1759 tonnes of sugar out of our yogurt products since 2015 – that’s a 13.5% reduction - and cut the amount of added sugar in our Müller Kids Corner range by half.
‘A balanced diet and lifestyle is important, but we also feel that people should be allowed to enjoy moments of pleasure.
‘That’s why we offer choice. We’d like to point out that our full range of yogurts includes alternatives like Müllerlight Greek Style and Müllerlight Fruitopolis which are fat free, with 0% added sugar.’
The number of sugar cubes in popular yoghurts, as analysed by Public Health Liverpool:
4.9 - Muller Corner
4.7 - Aldi Brooklea (own brand)
4.5 - Asda own brand
3.3 - Smarties (Nestle)
2.6 - Ski (Nestle)
2.2 - Lidl Milbona (own brand)
2.1 - Petits Filous (Yoplait)
2 - Munch Bunch (Nestle)
Each cube = 4g of added sugar