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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Friday, 24 May 2024 1.43 PM IST

Added sugars in baby food; children at risk of diabetes

nestle

NEW DELHI: A report claiming that Nestlé, which holds 95 per cent of the baby food market in India, is adding sugar to its baby food product Cerelac has left parents worried. It is a common practice in Kerala to give Cerelac to children from six months of birth onwards. Health experts warn that children who are addicted to sugar will have serious health problems such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

The investigative report was prepared by the Swiss organization 'Public Eye' and the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) after testing samples of Nestlé baby food products at a laboratory in Belgium.

Excess calories in the diet will lead to weight gain. It will also lead to excessive hunger. Concerns have been raised that such baby foods are one of the main causes of diabetes in children. In Kerala, diabetes is prevalent even among children above the age of ten. About 50 percent of children between 10 and 20 years of age suffer from type 2 diabetes, the same type of diabetes that affects adults.

Sugar added under different names
The report claims that sugar is added to baby food under the names of corn syrup, glucose, lactose, maple syrup, and sucrose.

Expert committee to investigate
New Delhi: The Food Safety Authority (FSSAI) will conduct an inquiry based on reports that multinational company Nestlé is adding excessive sugar to its baby product Cerelac. A special committee of experts will be formed for this purpose.

No sugar added in France and UK
Nestlé's baby food products sold in developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America were found to contain added sugar. Meanwhile, the same products sold in European countries such as France and the UK did not contain sugar.

According to the lab report, the amount of sugar found in a certain quantity of Cerelac is as follows:
India............................2.2
Pakistan............... 2.7
South Africa............ 4
Ethiopia................... 5.2
Thailand................... 6.
Germany..........................0
France...........................0
U.K.............................0

Nestlé denies allegation
Meanwhile, Nestlé has denied the allegation. According to the company, nutritional quality is ensured during the manufacturing process of its products. Nestlé's shares in India had dropped following the publication of the report. The company claims that it will never compromise on standards. Lactogen, another widely used baby food in India is also a Nestlé product.

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TAGS: CERELAC, NESTLE, ADDED SUGAR IN NESTLE PRODUCTS, INDIA, KERALA
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