Storm on a teacake as chocolate spread found to contain 57 spoons of sugar

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Chocolate spreads like Nutella contain over four times more sugar than nuts - with a staggering 57 teaspoons in a jar, warns a new report.

Parents are unwittingly feeding the entire daily recommended intake for seven to 10-year olds of six sugar cubes (24g) on just two slices of toast, according to the research.

That is the equivalent to having FIFTEEN chocolate fingers for breakfast, warned the shock report.

Eaten every morning over a week it would add up to 168g of sugar - the same as two-and-a-half boxes of Maltesers.

Worst offenders were two Tesco own label products - its Original Chocolate Spread and Duo Chocolate Spread which each contained 11.8g of sugar for every 20g serving.

Nutella Ferrero Hazelnut Spread with Cocoa was just behind with 11.4 g.

Yet worryingly brands such as Nutella are marketed as a ‘hazelnut spread’ when in reality they are mostly sugar, said the survey by campaign group Action on Sugar.

They contain 57 per cent sugar and only 13 per cent hazelnuts.

The campaign group is warning parents these products are so high in sugar they would receive a red traffic light label - and are not everyday foods.

Chairman Graham MacGregor, Professor of cardiovascular medicine at Queen Mary University of London, said: “Companies that make these ‘sugar’ spreads and specifically market them misleadingly as something else to children should consider their ethical and corporate responsibility.

“They should immediately stop this misleading marketing and ensure they go well beyond the 20 per cent sugar reduction that Public Health England (PHE) is calling for, as there are already identical spreads that contain far less sugar.”

A treat - not a staple

Sweet spreads are one of the top 10 contributors of sugar consumption in British children yet most of those surveyed would receive red front of pack labelling - meaning you should keep an eye on how often you eat it.

Action on Sugar is urging the public not to consume high sugar sweet spreads everyday and calling on the Government to get tougher on ensuring the 2020 sugar reduction targets are achieved - with penalties for those companies who fail to comply.

Its survey of 272 products - which also included jams or fruit spreads and marmalades - found more than two-thirds of the 38 chocolate spreads contained over 10g of sugar for every 20g serving - more than half.

The most well-known brands like Nutella had three of a child’s five maximum daily teaspoons of sugar - more than half their maximum intake.

The PHE’s Sugar Reduction programme has set an average target of 43.8g/100g of sugar for chocolate spreads and 34.6g/100g for fruit spreads.

Jams and fruit spreads also contain similar high levels of sugar, with just a small (20g) serving containing up to a whopping three teaspoons of sugar.

Of the 43 strawberry jam/spreads looked at almost all (95 per cent) would receive a red traffic light label for sugar levels.

The survey data was collected by visiting all main supermarkets using the FoodSwitch app to collect data on nutritional information.

Nutritionist Kawther Hashem, researcher at Action on Sugar, said: “It’s shocking that two slices of toast with chocolate spread or jam can contain 24g or six teaspoons of sugar, the entire maximum daily intake for seven to ten year olds.

“Many of these spreads are high in sugar and not an everyday breakfast option.

“Our survey shows you can spread at least one teaspoon less sugar on your toast, if you just choose products with less sugar.

“Read the labels when shopping, try out our free app ‘FoodSwitch’ and choose high fruit and lower sugar varieties of your favourite spread.”

The product with the least sugar was Jim Jams Hazelnut Chocolate Spread - containing only 1.7g for every 20 g serving.

With 83 per cent less sugar than its rivals it was created by dad-of-two Kevin Bath who quit his City job after discovering the amount of sugar in his children Evie and Jack’s snacks.

FoodSwitch UK is a free smartphone app that enables consumers to make healthier and smarter food and drink choices whilst out shopping.

Tesco to take action

Tesco said it will be reducing the sugar in its chocolate spread after a survey showed it contains a staggering 57 (FIFTY-SEVEN) teaspoons in a jar.

Parents are unwittingly feeding the entire daily recommended intake for seven to 10-year olds of six sugar cubes (24g) on just two slices of toast, according to the Action on Sugar research.

A Tesco spokesperson said: “We are continuously working to reduce the salt, sugar and fat in our products, and we’re pleased to say we will be reducing the sugar content of our chocolate spread, as well as launching a no-added sugar version soon.

“We’re committed to helping our customers live healthier lives with initiatives such as free fruit for kids in our stores, reducing the sugar content of our soft drinks and removing sweets from our checkouts.”

Nutella makers Ferrero said its chocolate spread should be eaten as part of a “varied diet” after a survey showed it contains a staggering 57 (FIFTY-SEVEN) teaspoons in a jar.

Parents are unwittingly feeding the entire daily recommended intake for seven to 10-year olds of six sugar cubes (24g) on just two slices of toast, according to the Action on Sugar research.

Ferrero said in a statement: “Nutella can be enjoyed as part of a varied diet.

“The recommended portion size is 15g (two heaped teaspoons), which is only 81 calories and contains 8.5 g of sugar.

“This information is clearly communicated to consumers on pack and in our marketing, which is always targeted at adults and never at children.

“Compared with other typical breakfast options, such as butter and jam on toast, a two heaped teaspoon (15g) serving of Nutella on wholegrain bread contains 3.5g less fat and 2.2g less sugar (measured against two heaped teaspoons of jam with 10g butter).”

Worst offenders were two Tesco own label products - its Original Chocolate Spread and Duo Chocolate Spread which each contained 11.8g of sugar for every 20g serving.

Nutella Ferrero Hazelnut Spread with Cocoa was just behind with 11.4 g.

Toby Rye.

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