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Scientists from the Universities of Leeds and Surrey analysed the product information for 921 yogurts available in major United Kingdom supermarkets.

Scientists found that the majority of yogurts also contain more than half of a child's recommended daily maximum in take of sugar. The fact that they 100 g 17 grams of sugar, which is over 4 teaspoons.

The NHS recommends that children aged four to six should have no more than 19g of sugar per day, while those aged seven to 10 should consume less than 24g daily.

One finding of the study that might come as a surprise to consumers is that organic yogurts were some of the sweetest of all. However natural or Greek yoghurt hit the mark, with a median of 5g of sugar per 100g.

United Kingdom and U.S. dietary guidelines recommend low fat and low sugar dairy products, and the researchers wanted to assess how far yogurt products, particularly those marketed to children, meet these guidelines.

This research was undertaken shortly after the launch of the sugar-reduction programme.

The researchers note that yoghurt is an important source of nutrients including calcium, protein and vitamin B12, and is linked to digestive benefits.

Moore noted that the values only reflect the total sugar content, as labels do not separate naturally occurring sugars such as lactose from added sugars, but said the research suggests approximately 5g of sugar per 100g can be thought of as largely being lactose, with levels above that coming from added sugar.

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In 2016, Public Health England (PHE) urged the food industry to achieve 20% cuts in sugar levels in everyday foods by 2020, with the goal of 5% within the first year. 'Yogurts contain natural sugar from the milk, as well as any fruit that's included'.

All the children's products were grouped into several categories: fermented dairy products; dairy alternatives, such as soy; desserts; drinks; flavoured; fruit; natural/Greek; and organic.

The average sugar content of products in most categories was well above the low sugar threshold. Desserts had the highest fat content and the broadest range, averaging 5.2g per 100g.

Only 9% of products surveyed were below this threshold.

For more information or interviews, contact University of Leeds media relations office via pressoffice@leeds.ac.uk or +44 (0) 113 343 4031.

We are a top ten university for research and impact power in the United Kingdom, according to the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, and are in the top 100 of the QS World University Rankings 2019.

The University of Surrey has been recognised by three Queen's Anniversary Prizes for Further and Higher Education and is a destination of choice for higher learning in subjects ranging from Engineering to the Arts.


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