Yoghurts with highest sugar content are organic brands

Children's yogurts contained 10.8g of sugar per 100g on average. Picture: Getty
Children's yogurts contained 10.8g of sugar per 100g on average. Picture: Getty
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Organic yoghurts are among the most sugary on supermarket shelves, new research suggests.

An analysis of more than 900 different yoghurts found organic varieties had the highest sugar content, according to a study published in journal BMJ Open.

Fewer than one in ten of all products (9 per cent) and 2 per cent of children’s yoghurts were classed as low in sugar.

Under the traffic lights nutritional labelling system, products with less than than 5g of sugar per 100g can be given the green rating, while those with 22.5g per 100g are considered high in sugar.

The researchers, from the University of Leeds and University of Surrey, described the reformulation of products to reduce sugar as “warranted”. They warned the “health halo” effect means consumers often underestimate the nutritional content of organic products. The team analysed the nutritional content of 921 yoghurts available at five major UK supermarkets in October to November 2016.

Organic yoghurts typically had 13.1g of sugar per 100g, the highest content of all eight categories of the food, while natural or Greek varieties had the lowest at around 5g.

Lead author Dr Bernadette Moore, from the University of Leeds, said: “While there is good evidence that yogurt can be beneficial to health, products on the market vary widely in nutrient content. Items labelled organic are often thought of as the ‘healthiest’ option, but they may be an unrecognised source of added sugars in many people’s diet.”

Children’s yoghurts typically contained 10.8g per 100g, the equivalent of more than two sugar cubes, the study found.

The NHS recommends that children aged four to six years old have no more than 19g of sugar a day.

Dr Barbara Fielding, study co-author from the University of Surrey, said: “In the UK, on average, children eat more yogurt than adults, with children under three years old eating the most.”