Sunday, December 20, 2009

Packaging the Food Lies

As a follow up to this article we have now had it reported food manufacturers are using "smoke and mirrors" to mislead parents into thinking sugar and fat-laden snacks are healthy for children.

Research by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) found that 92% of mothers faced with typical claims used on food were duped into thinking they were beneficial.

BHF chief executive Peter Hollins said: "Mums are having the wool pulled over their eyes by food manufacturers...Smoke and mirror tactics means that foods targeted at children and high in fat, salt and sugar are being disguised with partial health claims suggesting they're a healthy choice" The charity also hit out at manufacturers who market their fatty products as “natural”.

Slogans included "a source of calcium, iron and six vitamins", which is used on Coco Pops cereal and milk bars.But they are actually higher in saturated fat and sugar than chocolate cake.Honey Shreddies are "wholegrain" which can "keep your heart healthy and maintain a healthy body". In fact, a 45g serving contains 13.6g of sugar, more than a ring doughnut which has 9.2g. Jelly Snakes contain "no artificial flavourings, no artificial colourings" they also have 295 calories per 100g, more calories gram-for-gram than black treacle.

Dr Knapton associate medical director at the BHF said: “... If food companies cared about their consumers they would use one system giving clear information which would enable parents to make healthier choices.”

Anything for the quick buck

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