Most healthy snacks are not good for you, says consumers group

Some snacks are more obviously unhealthy than others
Some snacks are more obviously unhealthy than others

Even snacks which are sold as being healthy alternatives often contain too much sugar and fat, the Dutch consumers association Consumentenbond said on Tuesday.

The association tested 50 snacks and flagged them according to a new system for assessing healthy food based on A (green and good for you) to E (red and unhealthy). It found just one in five snacks merited the A label.

Even muesli bars often contain too much sugar, while an organic puffed rice cracker was branded E because it was topped by sweet and fatty yoghurt by Consumentenbond researchers.

The campaign group wants the government to introduce the colour system, known as Nutriscore, because it shows consumers quickly if food is healthy or not. Nutriscore was developed in France and rates food according to the amount of calories, sugars, salt, protein and fibre it contains.

The recent agreement signed by ministers, consumer groups and the food industry on improving the nation’s diet includes a commitment to a new simplified food labeling system.

Research by the Consumentenbond last year showed that  62% of Dutch consumers would welcome the Nutriscore logo although 69% prefer the British ‘stop sign’ system, which colour codes according to the amount of sugar, fat, and sugar per portion.

However, almost one in five think using a logo indicating healthy or unhealthy food is an example of the ‘nanny state’.

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