89% of Children's Foods Provide Poor Nutrition
From Science Daily:
Most kids' foods provide poor nutritional quality, but packaging claims and healthy images could be misleading parents, according to a Canadian study. Professor Charlene Elliott used US guidelines to review 367 products. 70 percent of the products had higher than recommended sugar levels, 23 percent had high fat levels and 17 percent had high salt levels.
Nine out of ten regular food items aimed specifically at children have a poor nutritional content -- because of high levels of sugar, fat or sodium - according to a detailed study of 367 products published in the July issue of the UK-based journal Obesity Reviews.
Just under 70 per cent of the products studied - which specifically excluded confectionery, soft drinks and bakery items - derived a high proportion of calories from sugar. Approximately one in five (23 per cent) had high fat levels and 17 per cent had high sodium levels. Despite this, 62 per cent of the foods with poor nutritional quality (PNQ) made positive claims about their nutritional value on the front of the packet.
So if you count the sodas, candies, and twinkies that are marketed to children, the fraction of kids' foods that provide poor nutrition probably rises to well above 95%. Is it any wonder that our kids are becoming obese, which causes them to have health problems in the future?
This isn't really new information. We've known that our kids are getting fatter, and that the additives in their food are exasperating problems like Attention Deficit Disorder. And our response has been to subsidize junk food and to give professional marketers greater access to our kids. We pay agribusiness giants like ADM and Con-Agra billions to the corn that sweetens soda, that fattens pigs and cattle, and that makes up the lion's share of "chicken" mcnuggets. We put TVs in our kids' bedrooms and even classrooms, and we let fast food companies advertise in school buses and on school book covers. And we let soda companies and fast food restaurants sell their wares inside our schools. And taxpayers underwrite all of this, as we allow the people who are poisoning our kids to deduct the cost of advertising from their taxes.
Maybe it's time to start protecting our kids with a little common-sense regulation.
(cross posted at appletree)