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Children, EU-packaged products do not meet nutritional standards

  fish fingers fried potato straw paper sauce Many products dedicated (and advertised) to children and adolescents do not meet two nutritional standards developed to reduce the impact of food marketing on minors. And yet we talk about the rules indicated by WHO-Europe and EU commitment obligations that many food companies such as Coca-Cola, Kellogg & # 39; s, McDonald & # 39; s, Ferrero, Danone and Unilever spontaneously joined. This was revealed by a study conducted by the European Commission's Joint Research Center and published in PLoS One which examined almost 2,700 packaged foods sold in 20 European countries and belonged to five categories: breakfast cereals, yogurt, ready meals, meat and processed fish.

The result is that 48% of foods do not meet the mortgage indications and even 68% with WHO's. Among the factors that most contribute to removing these foods from an optimal situation there is, needless to say, the high levels of sugar in cereals and yogurt, and the excess salt in the other categories, in addition to the low amount of fiber in cereals for breakfast. In addition, many yogurts do not meet the criteria for total and saturated fat and many frozen meals have too many calories. As if that was not enough, it turned out that some of the products examined are among the best-sellers.

Although the data does not say anything about the total nutritional value of what European children and young people eat, given that they are limited to analyzing what is bought (based on Euromonitor International), the study reveals useful clues to assess what is offered in stores and supermarkets and what they find at home. Unfortunately, it is not these proposals that seem to take health to a great extent, regardless of what the WHO is asking and how much companies in theory commit to doing.

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  Agnese Codignola

scientific journalist

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