How to perfidiously manipulate the food industry children

Nelson Müller: So perfidiously does the food industry manipulate children

Whether it’s pesto, pizza or chocolate, 70 percent of the food you buy in the supermarket today contains sugar. But is sugar really as unhealthy as the public debate often makes it out to be? What tricks do manufacturers use to replace it – and are the products really healthier afterwards? And what marketing tricks do food producers use to try to fool customers? Star chef Nelson Müller asked these questions and a few more in his ZDF “Sugar Compass”.

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It was not necessarily new, but once again frightening, how Teresa Lonnemann’s film revealed how perfidious food producers target children. When a family went shopping for a test, two children were allowed to buy whatever they wanted – and promptly filled the shopping cart with all sorts of sweets, often decorated with colorful packaging complete with cartoon characters. Oliver Huizinger of Foodwatch said: The sweet heroes are being exploited and the sugary products are usually placed at children’s eye level in the supermarket.

“Sweetened yogurts are typical cases where foods could actually be healthy, but the producers add a lot of sugar and are still marketed as if they were recommended breakfast meals,” Huizinger went on to describe the problem. Some products are even sold in a sugary variety, especially for children.

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Expert Tip: Check the nutritional value table instead of the ingredient list

“The main problem is that children are used to this sweet taste. It shapes the sense of taste for life, ”warned Britta Schautz from the Berlin Consumer Advice Center. This increases the risk of secondary diseases such as dental caries and diabetes.

But even adults sometimes have a hard time distinguishing sugary foods from healthier versions. By mixing sugar substitutes with cryptic names in products, traditional household sugar is squeezed down the ingredient list. Hence the tip from consumer advocate Schautz: Always look at the more transparent table of nutritional values ​​for not going online with covert tactics.

“Unprocessed foods are the way out of the sugar trap”

The beverage check also aroused astonishment among Nelson Müller’s test subjects. All testers suspected that cola was the most sugary compared to multivitamin juice, rhubarb nectar and orange soda. But you thought wrong: Despite the healthy image, the juice contains the most sugar. The result of another experiment was just as surprising.

One test group ingested the same amount of fruit raw, another as a smoothie and a third as juice. Despite the same amount of sugar, it is healthiest for the body to enjoy unprocessed apples and co. With pure fruit, blood sugar levels remain higher for a longer period of time, the feeling of hunger only manifests itself later after ingestion – and the potential range for a sugary food is postponed. “Simple, unprocessed foods are the way out of the sugar trap,” Nelson Müller summed up the catchy motto.

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“Zero” varieties are no healthier than sugary drinks

Meanwhile, the 45-minute documentary cleared up the misconception that “zero” or “light” versions of soft drinks are healthier than their sugary counterparts. Synthetically produced sweeteners provide fewer calories, but because the body releases fewer messenger substances in response to the sugar-free drinks, there is no feeling of satiety – in short: the hunger remains. In addition, the long-term effects of synthetically produced sweeteners have not yet been adequately studied. “It would be better to make the products less sweet in general, so that people get used to a less sweet taste,” said Britta Schautz.

But the food industry never sleeps: In the Netherlands, Nelson Müller visited an ice cream factory that offers sweet treats with few calories and no artificial sweeteners. The ice cream is sweetened there with the low-calorie and naturally occurring sugar alcohol erythritol. This sugar substitute can not cause cavities in the teeth. However, as everywhere, it is also important to maintain a moderate level here. Too much erythritol can have a laxative effect.

RND / Teleshow

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