Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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Nestle Adds 3 gm Sugar In Every Serving Of Cerelac Sold In India: Report

Nestle Adds 3 gm Sugar In Every Serving Of Cerelac Sold In India: Report

New Delhi:

Two of the best-selling baby-food brands by Nestle in India contain high levels of added sugar, while such products are sugar-free in the United Kingdom, Germany Switzerland, and other developed nations, according to an investigation by Public Eye. The report said that Nestle, which is the world’s largest consumer goods company, adds sugar and honey to infant milk and cereal products in several countries, a violation of international guidelines aimed at preventing obesity and chronic diseases. Violations were found only in Asian, African, and Latin American countries.

However, a Nestle India Ltd. spokesperson told NDTV Profit that the company has reduced the total amount of added sugars in its infant cereals portfolio by 30% over the past five years and it continues to “review” and “reformulate” products to reduce them further. “We believe in the nutritional quality of our products for early childhood and prioritise using high-quality ingredients,” it said in a statement.

Findings showed that in India, all 15 Cerelac baby products contain an average of nearly 3 grams of sugar per serving. The same product is being sold with no added sugar in Germany and the UK, while in Ethiopia and Thailand, it contains nearly 6 grams, the study said.  

The amount of added sugar is often not even disclosed in the nutritional information available on the packaging of these kinds of products.

“While Nestle prominently highlights the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients contained in its products using idealizing imagery, it’s not transparent when it comes to added sugar,” the report said.

Nestle sold over Rs 20,000-Crore worth of Cerelac products in India in 2022.

Experts say that adding sugar, which is highly addictive, to baby products is a dangerous and unnecessary practice.

“This is a big concern. Sugar should not be added to foods offered to babies and young children because it is unnecessary and highly addictive,” says Rodrigo Vianna, epidemiologist and Professor at the Department of Nutrition of the Federal University of Paraiba in Brazil.

“Children get used to the sweet taste and start looking for more sugary foods, starting a negative cycle that increases the risk of nutrition-based disorders in adult life. These include obesity and other chronic non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes or high blood pressure,” he added.

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