Nutritional value of child-targeted food products : results from the food quality observatory

Authors: Gilbert-Moreau, JoséanePomerleau, SoniaPerron, JulieGagnon, PierreLabonté, Marie-ÈveProvencher, Véronique
Abstract: Objective: To characterise the nutritional quality of food products targeted to children, we aimed: (1) to determine if the nutritional composition of child-targeted food products is different from those for the general population and (2) to verify differences in the nutrient content of child-targeted food products between three selected food categories. Design: The present study is part of the work conducted by the Food Quality Observatory, created in 2016 in the province of Quebec (Canada). Ready-to-eat (RTE) breakfast cereals (n 331), granola bars (n 310) and yoghurts and dairy desserts (n 380) were the food categories analysed. Setting: Nutritional values and all packaging information were obtained by purchasing every product available in supermarkets, grocery stores and specialty grocery stores. Free sugars were manually differentiated from total sugars for each product. Products were classified according to two targeted consumer groups: children or general population. Results: The nutrient profile of RTE breakfast cereals, granola bars and yoghurts and dairy desserts targeted to children differed from that of products intended at the general population. Child-targeted RTE breakfast cereals had the least favourable nutritional composition, with significantly higher content of carbohydrates, total sugars, free sugars and Na compared with breakfast cereals for the general population as well as child-targeted granola bars and yoghurts and dairy desserts. All child-targeted products analysed contained free sugars. Conclusions: The current study supports the relevance to further regulate marketing to children on food product packages to ensure that such marketing is not present on food products with poor nutritional quality.
Document Type: Article de recherche
Issue Date: 5 August 2021
Open Access Date: 5 February 2022
Document version: AM
Creative Commons Licence:
This document was published in: Public Health Nutrition, Vol. 5, 1-9 (2021)
Cambridge University Press
Alternative version: 10.1017/S1368980021003219
Collection:Articles publiés dans des revues avec comité de lecture

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