Most food marketed to children in Switzerland found to have too much sugar
A new investigation by the Fédération romande de consommateurs (FRC) has revealed that a significant majority of food products that are marketed to appeal to children in Switzerland contain too much sugar, salt or fat. The group that carried out the survey are now calling on the government to impose new rules so that parents are better informed about what their child might be eating.
Majority of food marketed to Swiss kids contains too much sugar, salt and fat
The survey analysed 344 food goods across all Swiss cantons that were targeted at children over three years old. The foods were taken from all the major supermarkets in Switzerland including Coop, Migros, Aldi and Lidl.
In all, 277 products of the 344 surveyed contained more than the maximum amount of sugar recommended for children. 94 percent of the products surveyed contained more sugar than the official maximum cited by the World Health Organisation, which recommends that sugar should only account for 10 percent of caloric intake. A majority of products were also found to contain too much salt and fat than the recommended daily amount for children.
Calls for a Nutri-score on packaging in Switzerland
Nathalie Farpour-Lambert, a doctor at the university hospital in Geneva, explained, “We know that sweets contain sugar, but many packets have nice images of corn, milk or fruit, leading parents to think they are healthy.” The FRC agreed, with food specialist Barbara Pfenniger noting that children are susceptible to marketing strategies, due to the products' attractive mascots or animals on the packaging.
Concluding their report, the FRC said it was time for Switzerland to do more to inform parents about the food their children eat. Specifically, they said that a “Nutri-score” - a label with a five colour nutritional score - on all food marketed to children was an essential first step.