GENEVA – The World Health Organization (WHO)has released a recent study that found commercially produced baby food contains too much sugar and is incorrectly advertised as suitable for infants.
Up to 60 per cent of inspected food products were labelled as suitable for infants under six months old and over half of products analyzed 30% of the calories came from sugar.
About a third of them listed sugar as concentrated fruit juice or other sweeteners as an ingredient.
That amount of sugar raises the risk for obesity and diabetes later in life because it can wire young children to a lifelong preference for sweet foods.
The World Health Organization recommends mothers exclusively breastfed for the first six months of their lives.
The WHO said it was updating its guidelines to help member countries adopt new legislation to curb high sugar intake.
The WHO wants the promotion of breast milk substitutes to end, and recommends that children between six months and two years be fed nutrient-rich foods prepared at home.
The organization called for the banning of added sugars and sweeteners in baby foods.
Labels on candies and sweetened beverages – including fruit juices and condensed milk – should state the products are not suitable for children under three.
The industry still faces criticism from groups like Baby Milk Action, which says companies often violate international marketing standards.
The study didn’t mention any company or brand names.
Source: WHO, AP