'Healthy' breakfast biscuits contain more sugar than a bowl of Coco Pops
Published 18/06/2016 | 16:30
'Healthy' breakfast biscuits contain more sugar than a bowl of Kellogg's Coco Pops, according to new research.
The breakfast snacks are marketed as a ‘great start to your day’ and ‘energy for the whole morning.’
But a survey of 39 products sold in high street supermarkets found almost half have the same or more sugars than a standard 30 gram serving of Kellogg's Coco Pops, which contains three teaspoons of sugar.
All brands had at least a teaspoon of sugar, and some had as many four, a study by UK organisation Action on Sugar found.
Nearly four in ten had a red warning colour on the front of pack nutrition labelling for high sugar content, with not one featuring green for low.
The worst for packing sugar were from German discounter Lidl with its Sondey Envitas Breakfast Biscuits Chocolate & Hazelnut Flavour and Sondey Envitas Breakfast Biscuit Chocolate top with around four teaspoons of sugar in each biscuit.
The next were BelVita's Breakfast Yogurt Crunch Creamy Live Yogurt Cocoa Biscuits and Breakfast Cocoa with Choc Chip made by US giant Mondelz International.
Some of the sugars will be naturally occurring from the milk and dried fruit in the biscuits but others will have been added by the manufacturers.
Nutritionist Kawther Hashem, of Action on Sugar, said: "Just because a product contains added vitamins and is promoted as a healthy option doesn't necessarily make it the best option for breakfast on-the- go.
"Breakfast is the most important meal of the day; choose it wisely and don't be misled into buying products that are convenient but not entirely healthy.
"We recommend you make informed food switches such as choosing wholegrain breakfast cereals low in salt and sugar.
"Add fresh fruit to increase its nutritional value.
"If we really want the health of the nation to improve the food industry needs to produce and promote healthier breakfast options that are lower in sugar and higher in fibre with accurate front of pack nutrition labelling."
Data was collected by visiting Aldi, ASDA, Co-operative, Lidl, Marks & Spencer, Morrisons, Tesco, Sainsbury's and Waitrose using the FoodSwitch app to collect nutritional information.
Thirty six of the biscuits (92 per cent) had more sugar than a 30g bowl of Nestle Toffee Crisp Cereal which contains two teaspoons, or seven grams of sugar.
And 32 (82 per cent) had more than the same portion of Honey Monster Puffs Cereal which has 8.7g of sugar.
The report also criticised BelVita only showing the nutritional value of one biscuit even though each packet contains two to four, which most people assume is one serving.
Action On Sugar campaign manager Jennifer Rosborough added: "It is important breakfast substitutes offer the healthiest alternative, rather than a worse option.
"Sadly, we could not recommend any of the products we examined which are laden with excess sugar.
"While some sugar in breakfast biscuits is naturally occurring due to ingredients such as fruit, many contain sugar that has been added by the manufacturer."