More than half of the Spanish children have an unhealthy breakfast with excess sugar

 

 

 


/COMUNICAE/

CoCo analyses 2082 breakfast products according to WHO recommendations and other systems recognized in various studies. The food most consumed by children at breakfast is milk, cookies, bread and cereals. Only 20% of them drink fresh fruit. 70% of breakfast cookies and cereals belong to the “ultraprocessed” product category

The Coco, the app of conscious consumers that helps users understand and interpret the nutritional information that appears in the containers of different foods, has analyzed the products most consumed by Spanish children in their breakfast according to the Aladino Report* (elaborated by the Spanish Agency for Food Safety and Nutrition, AESAN), and the main conclusion is that more than half of them make an unhealthy breakfast that usually includes excess sugar and calories, with which the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) on food are rejected.

 

According to AESAN data, the vast majority of Spanish children (82.4%) have milk breakfast. In addition, 57.6 per cent usually eat cookies, 54.1 per cent bread or toast and 45 per cent breakfast cereals. Only 20% take fresh fruit according to this institutional report.

70% of breakfast foods (gallets and cereals) is “ultraprocessed”
An important part of the products consumed by children in breakfast is being ultraprocessed (70%), or it belongs to categories not recommended by the World Health Organization. Specifically the Cookies biscuits cookies, which almost 60 per cent of children usually take for breakfast in Spain, are a product discouraged by WHO (i.e. its composition or processing degree, WHO does not recommend any products of this category). Plus, more than 90% of all those on the market are considered a “ultraprocessed” product and almost 80% contain high levels of sugar and excessive caloric contribution according to the institutional system of nutritional warnings implanted in many Latin American countries.

As for the Breakfast cereal, you can find healthy options on the market, but only 35 per cent of them would be within WHO recommendations. In practice, 65% of those sold would not belong to this ‘healthy’ category and supported by WHO, rather, 60% would have an excess of sugar and 61% would be ultraprocessed.

For its part, it surprises the case of dairy drinks. Based on a net healthy ingredient, milk results in 16.3 per cent of the products in this range, becoming “ultraprocessed”, and 7 per cent of the cases include a significant amount of added sugar. The theme of milk is added an important problem from the nutritional point of view: the addition of soluble cocoa, something that makes a third of the small Spaniards. This practice implies, in general lines, adding to the glass of milk about 14 grams of sugar - it must be remembered that the maximum amount recommended that children do not exceed in one day is 19 g for children under 6 years, and 30 g for the elderly. This is because the best-selling products in this category (soluble cocoa) contain up to 75% sugar. “The milk is certainly a perfectly healthy food, provided we do not add excess sugar or other products like the classic soluble cocoa. Otherwise, a child who leaves the house having had breakfast a glass of soluble cocoa milk and some cookies will probably have exceeded, already in the breakfast, the maximum daily amount of sugar that is recommended not to exceed”, says Jean-Baptiste Boubault, co-founder of El CoCo.

 

As for bread, which is generally perceived as a healthy option, it should be included in the diet in its integral and non-ultraprocessed versions. According to El CoCo's analysis, from among the best-selling breads in supermarkets 70% would have an excess of salt and 50% an excess of calories (which usually come from the inclusion in those sugars and added fats).

Child obesity
According to data from 2019, in Spain 23.3 per cent of children between 6 and 9 years of age would be overweight, and 17.3 per cent would suffer from obesity according to WHO standards. “Child obesity is a matter of concern for the enormous implications it entails in both the present and future health of those affected. One of the main problems is that we can often believe that we are giving healthy food to our children when it is not really like this,” explains Boubault. “For us, nutrition education is a priority and, although it is true that consumers are increasingly concerned about their health and the products they eat, there is still much to work for children. In general, we can have breakfasts whenever they are natural products and, to be able to be, cooked at home: eggs, leftovers from the previous day's dinner, milk, yogurt, fruits and vegetables... The fan is huge, and you can always find options that are healthy and attractive to the youngest. One way to ‘change the chip’ in terms of breakfast is to consider any healthy choice that can typically be included in another intake, for example in any meal or dinner,” concludes Boubault.

The CoCo, a scientific algorithm that notes the nutritional quality of food
Using the El CoCo app you can scan the bar code of any product and get a nutritional note that will guide the suitability of that product in a feeding pattern.

The El CoCo algorithm uses its own and innovative score methodology based on various existing works and scales, contrasted and recognized by the scientific community for its usefulness and rigor. On the one hand, the WHO nutrient profile (the European nutrient profile model) for different categories of food indicating which products or foods, depending on their nature or characteristics, should or should not be promoted child-oriented; on the other, the system NOVAbased on the level of food processing; and finally, the Chilean Government warning systemwhich establishes a series of “alts” of those products that include significantly high amounts of sugar, saturated fats, sodium and/or calories. The combination of these three metrics, verified by the El CoCo nutritionist team, will give the user a score of 0 to 10, where 0 would correspond to minimally recommended products. The ideal thing would be to focus the choices on products with a note of 7 or higher.

Methodology: The CoCo has used child consumption data Aladdin Report (Study on Food, Physical Activity, Child Development and Obesity in Spain 2019) and has analyzed 2082 products in the categories of milk, cookies, bread or toast, breakfast cereals and fresh fruit according to their algorithm, to know their nutritional quality and their suitability for child consumption.

More than half of the Spanish children have an unhealthy breakfast with excess sugar

More than half of the Spanish children have an unhealthy breakfast with excess sugar

CoCo analyses 2082 breakfast products according to WHO recommendations and other systems recognized in various studies. The food most consumed by children at b

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2023-04-11

 

More than half of the Spanish children have an unhealthy breakfast with excess sugar
More than half of the Spanish children have an unhealthy breakfast with excess sugar

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