Sugar content of most supermarket yogurts well above recommended threshold

Yoghurts 'contain more sugar than cola'

Yogurt selections like this one at a Los Angeles 365 by Whole Foods Market store are getting larger, but a new United Kingdom study warns that many contain lots of added sugar.

That said, if you're choosing between giving your child a donut, a soda or a yogurt, by all means, give him the yogurt because it contains other nutrients like calcium and protein.

Researchers at Leeds University in the United Kingdom, headed by nutritionist Doctor Bernadette Moore, who published the research in the British medical journal, analysed 921 yogurts available in large British supermarkets. Products aimed at adults are often worse, the Leeds University researchers found, and organic yogurts had the highest sugar content of any on sale in British supermarkets. Moore suggests that using a natural yogurt sweetened with fresh fruit or low-sugar cereal is a good alternative to highly processed sugary flavored yogurts.

One finding of the study that might come as a surprise to consumers is that organic yogurts were some of the sweetest of all. In these categories, average sugars ranged from 10.8g per 100g in children's products to 13.1g per 100g in organic products. Any low-sugar yogurts from other retailers would have been excluded.

Moore thinks that if individuals know more about sugar in yogurt, they can make different decisions for themselves and their families. And experts say those sugars can add up quickly.

Children's yogurts were also found to have worryingly high sugar levels, with only two per cent classed as low sugar in the study, which is published in BMJ Open.

Yoghurt
Supermarket Yogurt May Contain More Sugar Than You Think

Moore suspects the amount of sugar in yogurt in the U.S.is about the same as in the United Kingdom. In fact, some contain as much sugar as soda. Chobani Kids had 9 grams of sugar in a 99 gram serving.

Just One 125g pot of low-fat fruit yogurt can provide a 4-6 year old with 39 per cent of their recommended daily calcium and 60 per cent of their iodine intake. Moore advocates for more transparent food labeling, and changes from the yogurt industry itself.

"What is worrisome is that yogurt, as a perceived "healthy food", may be an unrecognized source of free/added sugars in the diet", the researchers write.

The NHS recommends that children aged four to six should have no more than 19g of sugar per day, while those aged seven to 10 should consume less than 24g daily.

Often marketed as a healthy dairy product, yogurt is not necessarily good as it contains free or added sugars and fat - even more than soft drinks and fruit juices, thus increasing the risk of obesity, a study has claimed.

Yoghurts do contain naturally occurring sugar, called lactose, but United Kingdom labeling laws do not require manufacturers to declare added sugars, the authors said.

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