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The Nutritional Profile of Baby and Toddler Food Products Sold in Australian Supermarkets

Citation

Dunford, Elizabeth K.; Louie, Jimmy Chun Yu; Byrne, R.; Walker, Karen Z.; & Flood, Victoria M. (2015). The Nutritional Profile of Baby and Toddler Food Products Sold in Australian Supermarkets. Maternal and Child Health Journal, 19(12), 2598-2604.

Abstract

BACKGROUND/AIMS: To examine the nutritional profile of baby and toddler foods sold in Australia.
METHODS: Nutrient information for baby and toddler foods available at Australian supermarkets was collected between Auguset and December 2013. Levels of declared energy, total fat, saturated fat, total sugar, sodium and estimated added sugar were examined, as well as the presence of additional micronutrients on the label. The Health Star Rating (HSR) system was used to determine nutritional quality. The range of products on offer was also examined by product type and by the age category for which the product was marketed.
RESULTS: Of the 309 products included, 29% were fortified. On a per 100 g basis, these 309 products provided a mean (+/-SD) of 476 +/- 486 kJ, 1.6 +/- 2.4 g total fat, 10.7 +/- 12.2 g total sugar, 2.7 +/- 7.4 g added sugar, and 33.5 +/- 66.5 mg sodium. Fruit-based products or products with fruit listed as an ingredient (58%) were the predominant product type. On the nutrition label, 42% displayed at least one additional micronutrient while 37% did not display saturated fat. The most common HSR was four stars (45%) and 6+ months was the most commonly identified targeted age group (36%).
CONCLUSIONS: The majority of baby and toddler foods sold in Australian supermarkets are ready-made fruit-based products aimed at children under 12 months of age. Baby and toddler foods are overlooked in public policy discussions pertaining to population nutrient intake but their relatively high sugar content deriving from fruits requires close attention to ensure these foods do not replace other more nutrient dense foods, given children have an innate preference for sweet tastes.

URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10995-015-1778-y

Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published

2015

Journal Title

Maternal and Child Health Journal

Author(s)

Dunford, Elizabeth K.
Louie, Jimmy Chun Yu
Byrne, R.
Walker, Karen Z.
Flood, Victoria M.