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Vitamins in sweets? Do the additional vitamins and additives actually have any benefit for the human body?
(07/23/2010) You can read it again and again on the different packaging of the manufacturers: With sayings like "plus valuable vitamins", "plus glucose or" plus natural fruit juice ", confectionery manufacturers advertise their sugar-containing products. Parents are then reassured , because the sweets contain supposedly valuable ingredients for their children. But is eating sweets really healthy? The food and nutrition organization "Foodwatch" clearly says no. The information and additions of "vitamins" are a "clumsy sales trick".
Wrong impression is given.
"Foodwatch" indicates that the additives would give consumers the wrong impression. The initiator Anne Markwardt of the Foodwatch campaign "Abgespeist" told the Hamburger Abendblatt: "This gives the parents the wrong impression that they could give their children something sweet while doing something good". Because in the majority of cases, children in Germany are adequately supplied with vitamins so that no additives are required.
Who doesn't know the "Take 2" candy from Stock. The manufacturer advertises that the sweets have a high proportion of "vitamins" and "fruit juice". Parents are happy to use the products, and in the spirit of advertising, the children can also eat two sweets. Many parents know "Take 2" from their own childhood and often associate beautiful moments with it. In fact, the candies also contain vitamins C, E and B and folic acid. Foodwatch is particularly critical of this product. But the supply of vitamin C is particularly good, at least in Germany. The artificial addition of vitamin C is therefore not only superfluous, but even "extremely problematic". And where the recommended amounts are not reached, fortified sweets are no substitute for more fruits and vegetables, according to the consumer initiative. "On the contrary, they tempt you to access more often." But since there is also a lot of sugar in them, the risk of tooth decay and obesity increases. Because "children are taught that sweets can be as valuable and rich in important nutrients as fruits and vegetables," said Markwardt of Foodwatch. A box of 2 300 grams contains 215 grams of sugar. The share of fruit juice concentrate is just 1.3 percent.
Foodwatch also criticizes other products. The juice "Capri-Sonne" and the product "Froot Loops" are also advertised with valuable additives. For example, "Froot Loops" is also advertised as containing "vitamins, calcium and iron". However, these products also contain a high proportion of sugar, but consumers would still get a "healthy impression". According to the Foodwatch, the breakfast cereals contain "highly processed grain" and a high proportion of sugar. To mask the negative sugar image, numerous manufacturers would point out the addition of glucose. But glucose has "no advantages at all over conventional sugar," explained Foodwatch expert Marquardt. So you can read on the Nestlé cocoa product: "plus vitamin and dextrose".
Food companies are defending themselves against the allegations.
The product manufacturers, however, are opposed to Foodwatch's criticism. A spokesman for Stock said that the product was not misleading and that the vitamins and fruit juice content were "accurate and transparent". In addition, buyers would appreciate the traditional product. The criticism "is not compatible with the model of a responsible and equally sensible consumer", said a spokesman for the group. Nestlé also points out that the addition of glucose and vitamins is said to be desired by customers. "We do not use this to advertise aggressively and only point out the additives on the packaging in a very reserved manner," said a spokeswoman for the food manufacturer. The manufacturer Kellogg’s explained that a classification of good and supposedly bad food is not useful from a "nutritional point of view". The iron portion of the "Froot Loops" in particular is valuable, since 40 percent of women in Europe still suffer from iron deficiency.
A balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables is healthy.
A balanced diet with lots of fruits, vegetables, fiber and fish is much more effective and promotes health. This is also what the German Nutrition Society thinks: "From a nutritional point of view, vitamin supplements in sweets have lost nothing. These are pure marketing tools," said Antje Gahl to the newspaper.
But what does Heilpraxisnet.de think? Of course, children should also eat sweets. However, parents should not succumb to the belief that such products could replace a balanced diet. Rather, it is important to convey to the children that fruit, vegetables, fish and whole grains strengthen health, since they contain all valuable minerals, vitamins and fiber on a natural basis. Candy is a pleasure, but not a "valuable or complementary" diet, says Sebastian Bertram. (sb)
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Image: Jörg Siebauer / pixelio.de