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Toddler foods too sweet
Date:6/28/2010

Fifty three percent of food products specifically targeted to babies and toddlers in Canadian grocery stores have an excessive proportionmore than 20 per centof calories coming from sugar, according to a new study by University of Calgary professor Charlene Elliott.

The study, funded by the Centre for Science in the Public Interest Canada, examined sugar and sodium levels in 186 food products specifically marketed for babies and toddlers. Published in the advanced online version of the Journal of Public Health, the study also analysed four categories of baby/toddler foods against their adult counterparts to reveal whether a 'halo effect' attributed to baby/toddler food is warranted.

"There is a presumed halo effect around baby and toddler foods because people expect these foods to be held to a higher standard," says Elliott, an associate professor in the Communications & Culture department. "Yet this is not necessarily the case."

The study sought to draw attention to the new, and expanding category of "toddler" foods available in the supermarketwhich include fruit snacks, cereal bars, desserts, and cookiesas well as baby food products outside of simple purees of fruits and vegetables (which could be classified as pure foods).

Products in the study included pureed dinners and desserts, toddler entrees and dinners, snacks (biscuits, cookies, fruit snacks, snack bars and yogurts) and some cereals. Excluded were simple purees of fruits and vegetables, juices and beverages, and also infant formulas and infant cereals designed to be mixed with breast milk or water. The study also made specific comparisons between four types of toddler food productstoddler cereal bars, cookies/biscuits, fruit snacks and yogurtand their adult equivalents. It found that these baby/toddler foods were not nutritionally superior to the adult equivalents when it comes to sugar and in some cases fared worse.

"Assessing sugar levels in baby
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Contact: James Stevenson
jlsteve@ucalgary.ca
403-210-6308
University of Calgary
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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