Food & DrinkLifestyle

Nestlé Adds Sugar to Baby Food in Asia and Africa: Revealing 4 Grams of Sugar per Serving in Milk and Cereal-like Foods

Public Eye, a Swiss non-profit organization, has revealed in its report that Nestlé, a leading FMCG company, has been adding sugar and honey to its baby food products sold in Asian, Latin American, and African countries. 

According to the findings, nearly all baby food products based on grains, marketed for infants up to six months old, contain an average of 4 grams of sugar per serving (per 100 grams). This disclosure comes after the testing of 150 products from the company in a lab located in Belgium by Public Eye.

Violation of WHO Guidelines: Public Eye’s Accusation

Public Eye’s claim, if proven true, constitutes a violation of the guidelines set forth by the World Health Organization (WHO). According to WHO guidelines, the use of sugar or sweetening agents in the diet of children under the age of 3 should be avoided.

Highest Sugar Content Found in Philippine Products

Among the products tested, those from the Philippines contained the highest amount of sugar per serving. A single serving in Philippine products contained 7.3 grams of sugar. 

Additionally, in Nigeria, baby food had 6.8 grams of sugar per serving, while in Senegal, it was 5.9 grams. Furthermore, information regarding sugar content in products was not provided by 15 out of the 17 countries examined.

Average Sugar Content in Nestlé Products in India

In India, the average sugar content in Nestlé’s baby cereals is approximately 3 grams per serving, while 100 grams of cereal contain 24 grams of sugar. 

The report also indicates that Nestlé highlights the presence of vitamins, minerals, and other nutritional elements in their products, but transparency regarding sugar content in their formulations is lacking.

Absence of Sugar in European Baby Products

Similarly, powdered milk sold in bottles for newborns in European countries does not contain sugar on average, with around 2 grams per serving. 

On the other hand, Nestlé’s own products sold in European countries such as Switzerland, Germany, Britain, and France do not contain sugar in these same products.

Nestlé’s Disclosure: Adherence to Local Regulations

A spokesperson for Nestlé stated that baby food falls under highly regulated categories. They emphasized their commitment to complying with local regulations and international standards wherever they operate. 

This includes adherence to labeling requirements and sugar limits. Over the past five years, Nestlé has reduced sugar in their infant cereal category (milk and cereal-based supplementary foods) by up to 30%.

The Risks of Consuming Excessive Sugars

Consuming excessive sugars can lead to various health risks:

  1. Increased Risk of High Blood Pressure and Heart Diseases: High sugar intake is associated with an increased risk of high blood pressure and heart diseases.
  2. Elevated Levels of Bad Cholesterol: Excessive sugar consumption can lead to elevated levels of bad cholesterol in the body.
  3. Risk of Diabetes: Overconsumption of sugar may increase the risk of developing diabetes.
  4. Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease: There is a potential risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease due to excessive sugar intake.
  5. Dental Issues: Sugar consumption can lead to dental problems such as cavities and tooth decay.
  6. Impact on Mental Health: Sugar can affect mental health, leading to issues such as impaired memory and cognitive function.
  7. Weakened Immune System: Excessive sugar intake can weaken the immune system, making the body more susceptible to infections.
  8. Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD): Sugar consumption is a contributing factor to NAFLD, a condition where fat builds up in the liver due to excess fat accumulation.

It’s essential to moderate sugar intake to reduce the risk of these health problems and maintain overall well-being.

Rahul Sharma

My name is Rahul Sharma. As a passionate writer and explorer, I'm always seeking inspiration in lifestyle, fashion, beauty, food & drink, and travel. With years of experience in the industry, I bring a unique perspective to my writing, blending my love for culture, style, and adventure.