Unhealthy children's foods make healthy claims

July 15, 2008

More than 60% of food products aimed at kids that have poor nutritious content claim some kind of nutritious benefit, according to the July Obesity Reviews.

More than 60% of food products aimed at kids that have poor nutritious content claim some kind of nutritious benefit, according to the July Obesity Reviews.

The study examined 367 food products targeted toward children, excluding confections, soft drinks, and baked goods. Among all foods, 63% made positive nutritious claims, and 89% provided poor nutritious quality. Of these poorly nutritious foods, just under 70% had high levels of sugar, 23% were high in fat, and 17% were high in sodium.

However, 68% of the high-sugar foods, 37% of the high-fat foods, and nearly 34% of the high-sodium foods made positive health claims, accounting for an overall 62% of poorly nutritious foods that make such claims.

In addition, 8% of these foods had some kind of nutrition mark or seal. Health claims included that products were a source of calcium, whole grains, or iron; they contained no artificial flavors or colors; or they provided essential nutrients.