Confectionery ‘not as healthy as first thought’

Confectionery may not be as good for children as first thought, according to a recent report compiled by the consumer group Which?.

The report concluded that, by filling their children’s lunchboxes with sweets, parents could in fact be doing more harm than good, due to its discovery that all sweets contain “significant levels” of sugar – a substance known to be detrimental to health when consumed in excessive quantities.

Peter Ian, a spokesman for Which?, said yesterday: “Parents need to be aware that a standard lunchbox consisting of a bag of crisps, a chocolate bar and a carton drink might not provide as much all-round nutrition as first thought. In fact, many parents could unintentionally be loading their kids with the equivalent of up to 12 teaspoons of sugar a day – and that’s not healthy.

“Some products give the impression of being healthy but are actually full of salt and sugar. Fruit pastilles, for example, are actually nothing more than sugar and synthetic gum. And licquorice doesn’t actually contain iron like you’d imagine – disappointingly, that too is nothing more than sugar, which may come as something of a surprise to most parents.”

For most parents, buying their children snacks can be something of a minefield, with nutritional information often hidden from immediate view on most confectionery items: “Parents should be able to pick out healthy products for their kids’ lunch-boxes but what you see isn’t always what you get. The best way to beat the lunch-box baddies is by checking the nutrition and ingredient information, which can be found either on the rear or the side of most packages. I would urge parents to turn the item around and read this information, as it can help them in making a more informed decision regarding their children’s health.” added Mr. Ian.

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