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Open AccessArticle

Sugar Content and Nutritional Quality of Child Orientated Ready to Eat Cereals and Yoghurts in the UK and Latin America; Does Food Policy Matter?

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Human Nutrition, School of Medicine, Dentistry and Nursing, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, New Lister Building, 10-16 Alexandra Parade, Glasgow G31 2ER, UK
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School of Nutrition, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Mariano Galvez University, 3a. Avenida 9-00 zona 2, 01002 Interior Finca El Zapote, Guatemala 01002, Guatemala
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School of Food Science and Nutrition, Department of Health Sciences, Universidad Iberoamericana León, Blvd. Jorge Vértiz Campero 1640, Colonia Cañada de Alfaro, 37238 León, Gto., Mexico
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2020, 12(3), 856; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12030856
Received: 6 January 2020 / Revised: 6 March 2020 / Accepted: 18 March 2020 / Published: 23 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Marketing and Dietary Behaviors among Children)
Ready to eat breakfast cereals (REBCs) and yoghurts provide important nutrients to children’s diets, but concerns about their high sugar content exist. Food reformulation could contribute to sugar reduction, but policies across countries are not uniform. We aimed to compare the sugar content and nutritional quality of child-orientated REBCs and yoghurts in Latin American countries with the UK. In a cross-sectional study, nutritional information, marketing strategies, and claims were collected from the food labels and packaging of products available in Guatemala, Mexico, Ecuador and the UK. Nutritional quality was assessed using the UK Ofcom Nutrient Profiling System. In total, 262 products were analysed (59% REBCs/41% yoghurts). REBCs in the UK had a lower sugar content (mean ± SD) (24.6 ± 6.4) than products in Ecuador (34.6 ± 10.8; p < 0.001), Mexico (32.6 ± 7.6; p = 0.001) and Guatemala (31.5 ± 8.3; p = 0.001). Across countries, there were no differences in the sugar content of yoghurts. A large proportion (83%) of REBCs and 33% of yoghurts were classified as “less healthy”. In conclusion, the sugar content of REBCs in Latin America is higher than those of the UK, which could be attributed to the UK voluntary sugar reduction programme. Sugar reformulation policies are required in Guatemala, Mexico and Ecuador. View Full-Text
Keywords: sugar; food labelling; sugar reduction policy; children; food marketing sugar; food labelling; sugar reduction policy; children; food marketing
MDPI and ACS Style

Garcia, A.L.; Ronquillo, J.D.; Morillo-Santander, G.; Mazariegos, C.V.; Lopez-Donado, L.; Vargas-Garcia, E.J.; Curtin, L.; Parrett, A.; Mutoro, A.N. Sugar Content and Nutritional Quality of Child Orientated Ready to Eat Cereals and Yoghurts in the UK and Latin America; Does Food Policy Matter? Nutrients 2020, 12, 856.

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