Bad Taste Food Awards exposes foods that aren't as healthy as they appear

Author
RNZ,
Publish Date
Mon, 30 Nov 2020, 9:15PM
(Photo / Getty)
(Photo / Getty)

Bad Taste Food Awards exposes foods that aren't as healthy as they appear

Author
RNZ,
Publish Date
Mon, 30 Nov 2020, 9:15PM

By RNZ

Consumer NZ has announced the winners of the 2020 Bad Taste Food Awards, which aim to highlight claims used to promote food products as being healthier than they really are.

Consumer NZ chief executive Jon Duffy said in a statement that this year's winners' podium featured products promoted as "97 per cent fat free" or packed with "whole grain" goodness.

"However, when you check the back of the pack, you discover they're loaded with sugar or sodium," he said.

The 10 winners of this year's awards are:

  • Nestle Milo Protein Clusters: The label states its cereal contains whole grains, "fibre", "8 vitamins and minerals", and will "give your child sustained, low GI energy to keep them going for longer". But the small print shows this cereal is also 26.5 per cent sugar.
  • Uncle Tobys Plus Protein Peach, Sultanas & Oat Clusters: Uncle Tobys says its cereal delivers "protein" and "fibre from whole grain to support healthy digestion". But Consumer NZ highlights that it also delivers sugar: 22 per cent. Sugar is the next largest ingredient after wheat and oats. There's extra sweetness from fruit puree, golden syrup and honey.
  • Nice & Natural Probiotic Oat Bars: These cranberry and coconut bars claim to be the "right way" to "activate your day". They state they are a "good source of fibre" with "no artificial colours or flavours". But they are 22 per cent sugar - that's two teaspoons in each bar.
  • OSM Almond with Vanilla Bites: OSM's bites are promoted as "nutritionally balanced", a source of protein, fibre, 10 vitamins and six minerals. But there is 30g of sugar in the recommended serve - that's seven teaspoons.
  • Glaceau Vitamin Water: "Power", "iron" and low calories are on offer in a bottle of dragon fruit-flavoured Glaceau Vitamin Water. But the vitamin-enhanced water also contains 22g of sugar: one 500ml single-serve bottle delivers five teaspoons.
  • Edmonds 97% Fat Free Vanilla Cake: Edmonds boasts its cake mix is "97per cent fat free" and contains "no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives". But the cake mix contains 55 per cent sugar, so there is more sugar than flour in the cake.
  • Woolworths Chocolate Flavoured Creamed Rice: This creamed rice also carries the "97 per cent fat free" claim. It contains "no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives" and even manages a 3.5-star health rating. But there are five teaspoons of sugar in every serve.
  • Beehive Shaved Champagne Ham: The front of the pack declares Beehive's ham is "97 per cent fat free" as well as "gluten free", "soy free" and "MSG free". But it is necessary to read the fine print on the back of the pack to discover the ham is also high in sodium: 1200mg per 100g.
  • Pams Fruit Zoo Vines: "Wow 65 per cent fruit juice," Pams says of its Fruit Zoo Vines. They contain "no artificial colours or flavours" and are "gluten, dairy & nut free!". They are also almost 55 per cent sugar. Along with reconstituted fruit juice, the vines contain sugar and glucose syrup, adding to their sweetness.
  • Lewis Road Creamery Collagen Milk: Lewis Road released its collagen-infused milk this year, claiming collagen is "scientifically shown to regenerate joint cartilage". But evidence for collagen supplementation is far from conclusive, Consumer NZ said. Consumer NZ said the claims were not approved under the Food Standards Code, but Lewis Road dropped the claims when it was called out about them.

- RNZ