Fruit in general is considered healthy by the nation but actually is this the case? Processed fruits cellular structure is broken down, so they are not as healthy as perceived and may have the same negative effect on weight as added sugars.
So what are processed fruits?
- fruit purees
- fruit drinks
- concentrated fruit juices
A recent study in the British Medical Journal found that:
>41% products looked at in this cross sectional study, which aimed to investigate the nutritional quality of foods marketed to children in the UK and to explore the use of health and nutrition claims, made 5-a day claims, most of which were fruit drinks, ready meals, and fruit snacks but it was actually processed fruit, concentrated fruit juice, or puree appeared as ingredients in nearly 50% of these products.
In 82% of foods claiming to contain one portion of fruit or vegetables, 3/4 didn’t contain the recommended 80g portion size.
The take home message is that food labelling can be confusing and the study suggests that stricter regulations on product composition, food labelling and marketing techniques are required to discourage the promotion of foods which may negatively affect weight.
Parents also have a role however in nutrition education and this shouldn't be ignored.
García AL, Morillo-Santander G, Parrett A, et alConfused health and nutrition claims in food marketing to children could adversely affect food choice and increase risk of obesityArchives of Disease in Childhood Published Online First: 04 April 2019. doi:10.1136/archdischild-2018-315870