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This study is being released through Strategic Alliance, a coalition of nutrition and physical activity advocates in California. The Strategic Alliance is shifting the debate on nutrition and physical activity
away from a primary focus on personal responsibility and individual choice to one that examines corporate and government practices and the role of the environment in shaping eating and activity behaviors. Find out more at eatbettermovemore.org.

PRINT | VIEW AS WEB PAGE  |  TELL A FRIEND   January 19, 2011
Front-of-Package Labels that Market Children’s Food Products Hide Truth:
84% of products studied fail to meet basic nutrition standards

Chronic diseases like diabetes are skyrocketing, and children are predicted to have a shorter life span than their parents. Parents want healthy food for their kids, and they want accurate information to guide them.

But parents are being fundamentally misled, says Prevention Institute's new study, released today through Strategic Alliance. Claiming Health: Front-of-Package Labeling of Children's Food examined products with front-of-package labeling--those products that food companies choose to identify as healthier. Claiming Health found that 84% of products studied failed to meet basic nutritional standards. 

Despite the postive benefits the labels imply, study findings reveal:

  • More than half (57%) of the study products qualified as high sugar, and 95% of products contained added sugar.
  • More than half (53%) were low in fiber.
  • More than half (53%) of products did not contain any fruits or vegetables; of the fruits and vegetables found, half came from just 2 ingredients – tomatoes and corn.
  • 24% of prepared foods were high in saturated fats.
  • More than 1/3 (36%) of prepared foods & meals were high in sodium.

Claiming Health underscores that the current system is broken: we can't count on food companies to decide which products receive front-of-package labels and what information those labels include. Without FDA regulation, instead of giving more information to parents struggling to make the best decisions for their kids, families are being misled.

The food industry can--and should--do better. Our families deserve it.

We invite you to read and share Claiming Health broadly.

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Prevention Institute 221 Oak Street Oakland, CA 94607
t 510.444.7738 | email: prevent@preventioninstitute.org