Sugar in our diet has been identified as one of the major contributing factors to the UK's growing obesity epidemic. New research by ITV News has found that many food products have added sugars that do not have to be disclosed on the label.
The Guideline Daily Amount (GDA) for the average adult is 90g per day, for all sugars.
Alpen Trail Bars - Fruit & Nut
Alpen Trail Bars are advertised as a morning snack, "loaded with a delicious combination of ingredients. Creamy rolled oats, crunchy hazelnuts & almonds, juicy raisins & sultanas". The bars are low in fat.
The bars are packed with a number of sugars from a number of sources: naturally occurring from the fruit, as well as added by the manufacturers. The total sugar content per bar amounts to more than four teaspoons. Each 48g bar contains:
- 17g sugar, or over 4 teaspoons of sugar per bar
- Of this 6.4g of sugar have been added by Weetabix
- In total, sugar makes up more than a third of the bar: 35%
In a statement to ITV News, Weetabix said it was committed to providing clear nutritional information on its packaging.
Quaker Oat So Simple Sultana Raisin Cranberry
Quaker's porridge oats are described as "bursting with glucose" and health benefits of the product are highlighted as "high in fibre" and containing "beta glucan which helps lower cholesterol." Each sachet, with milk, contains close to 20g of sugar. For every 38.5g sachet, there are:
- 18.3g of sugar, or at least 4.5 teaspoons of sugar per bowl
- In total, sugar makes up almost half of each packet: 47.5%
The manufacturer, Pepsico, have so far refused to give ITV News a breakdown of how much sugar is added. In a statement, the company said the amount of nutritional information they provide is in line with EU regulations.
Nestle Munch Bunch Drinky Strawberry
Nestle describe their product as a "delicious drink with a fruity flavour that kids will love" and stresses the calcium and "essential proteins for growing bones" it provides. It also has real fruit puree - which contains naturally occurring sugar. Each 90g yogurt drink contains:
- 11g of sugar, or at least 2.7 teaspoons of sugar per drink
- Of this, 8.4g of sugar have been added by the manufacturers
- In total, the 12% of the drink is sugar
Nestle said the sugar is added to "balance out the natural acidity" of the yogurt. In a statement, the company said:
Onken Fat Free Yoghurt Blueberry & Elderberry 450g
Onken's fat free blueberry and elderberry yogurt contains added sugar, and corn starch, as well as the naturally occurring sugars (fructose) in the fruit. Per 150g serving, each yogurt contains:
- 121 kcal
- 19.9g sugar, or at least 4.9 teaspoons
- Of this, 6.45g comes from lactose milk from the milk used
- The remaining comes from a combination of added sugar and the natural sugars present in fruit
An Onken spokesperson told ITV News they were working to lower their sugar content over time, to enable their customers to adjust:
Baxters Vegetarian Mediterranean Tomato Tinned Soup (400g)
One of the more surprising products evaluated by ITV News that contains added sugar is a soup marketed towards vegetarians. Per 200g (or half a can), the soup contains:
- 4.7g sugar, or over a teaspoon
- If you eat a whole tin, you're eating 2 and a half teaspoons of sugar.
In a statement to ITV News, Baxters said: