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WHO: Baby sugar-high foods are inappropriately marketed within Europe

16.07.2019 13:11 "Agro Perspectiva" (Kyiv) As of last week, the WHO European Office conducted two new studies within Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary and Israel, showing that, contrary to the recommendations of specialists, ready-made baby food there is often advertised as suitable for inclusion into the diet of children under 6months, and in a significant part of this product is an unacceptable amount of sugar, UN Radio says referring to the WHO report. It is to be reminded, in order to determine which foods are inappropriate for children between the ages of 6and 36months, WHO had earlier developed a draft Nutrient Profile Model (NPM), which it submitted to Member States and others to assess. Besides, WHO/Europe had also developed a methodology for collecting nutritional content data on commercial baby foods from labels, packaging, promotions and claims. Thus, by using this methodology, WHO/Europe had collected the data within Nov 2017- Jan 2018within Vienna, Austria; Sofia, Bulgaria; Budapest, Hungary; and Haifa (Israel). Based on 516stores and 7,955products retailed for babies and young children, the data revealed that within each of these cities, a significant portion of the products (28–60%) were advertised and sold as suitable for feeding children younger than 6months (what is permitted by European Union law, but is contrary to WHO recommendations). Moreover, within three of these cities, at least half of the products studied sugar accounted for over 30% of the total energy value. Approximately one third of the products contained, according to the data on the label, sugar, concentrated fruit juices or other sweeteners. Such added flavors and sugars can influence the emerging taste preferences of children, leading to the emergence of addiction to sweet foods. It is to be admitted, fruits and vegetables, which naturally contain sugar, are suitable for feeding infants and young children, but the very high content of free sugars within mashed potatoes is a matter of serious concern. So, the WHO experts urge all governments to follow the recommendations of specialists in order to ensure healthy nutrition for children.

Agro Perspectiva

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