A new study conducted by the World Health Organization has discovered that the amount of sugar in a lot of baby foods is worryingly high.
Knowing what is okay to feed your babies and infants can be a minefield, especially for first-time parents. Thankfully, for the first six months at least, there isn't too much to think about. Babies drink milk and nothing but. The only decision you need to make that early on is whether to breastfeed or bottle-feed.
Beyond that, we have been greatly helped by the invention of baby food. Little meals in jars filled with all the nutrients our little ones need. Or that's what we have been led to believe. A new study conducted by the World Health Organization would suggest otherwise, reports Bloomberg. It turns out many baby food products contain a lot more sugar than we realize.
The WHO collected data from almost 8000 different baby food and drink products from across Europe during the study. The most worrying discovery was that half of the products analyzed from three of the four cities included in the study attributed 30% of their calories to sugar. That might not necessarily be from "added sugar," but the naturally occurring sugar from things like fruit.
The other cause for concern discovered by the WHO was the age of the children many of these products are marketed for. The WHO recommends that babies don't start eating food until they are at least six months old. However, many of the products included in the study are advertised as being suitable for children aged four months and above. Nestle and Danone abide by that recommendation, but clearly, other baby food manufacturers do not.
The WHO's main concern when it comes to the sugar content of baby food products is the issues it can lead to in later life. The foods children eat at a young age tend to prepare them for what they will eat as they grow up. Nothing but sweet foods from such a young age could begin a dangerous pattern. A pattern that might well end in them developing diabetes or become obese when they grow up.