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Low-fat claims not what they seem


Study shows so-called “low-fat” foods can contain a similar number of calories to the standard versions – and in some cases contain even more sugar.

NBR Staff
Thu, 04 Oct 2012

So-called “low-fat” foods can contain a similar number of calories to the standard versions – and in some cases contain even more sugar, a study by Britain’s consumer watchdog Which? says.

The investigation found that as many as six out of 10 consumers eat low-fat and light foods several times a week believing that they are a healthier option and can help them to lose weight.

But its “snapshot sample” of 12 low-fat, reduced and light products from supermarkets compared with their standard counterparts found minimal differences in calorie content.

Among the foods singled out were a standard McVitie’s chocolate digestive, which contained 85 calories, compared with 77 in the “light” version – a difference of just eight calories.

In another case, a low-fat yoghurt had more calories per pot – 130 – compared with a standard one containing 123 calories. The low-fat one also contained more sugar.

Which? says its research also uncovered misconceptions among consumers about what the terms “reduced fat” and “light” mean.

Products labelled with these terms only have to contain 30% less fat than the standard version, yet only 16% of people surveyed understood this.

NBR Staff
Thu, 04 Oct 2012
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Low-fat claims not what they seem
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