'No infant should be having four teaspoons of sugar in a single serve' - Auckland doctor warns against sugary NZ baby food

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A leading child obesity expert has warned some prepackaged infant purees shelved in New Zealand contain up to two times the recommended daily amount of sugar.

A new study finds pre-packaged infant purees have up to two times the recommended daily amount of sugar.
Source: Breakfast

University of Auckland researcher Dr Gerhard Sundborn surveyed 33 baby fruit purees on New Zealand supermarket shelves and found 66 per cent of them were high in sugar.

In the worst products, a single serve of baby food contained up to four teaspoons of sugar.

Of the 33 products tested, 22 contained more than two teaspoons of sugar.

"Parents are trying to do the right thing here, and they're being misled what's healthy for their infants and babies," Dr Sundborn told TVNZ's Breakfast today.

"No infant should be having up to four teaspoons of sugar in a single serve."

Dr Sundborn said the high sugar content of the baby purees was created by manufacturers boiling down the fruit substance to remove the water content.

This process helped to thicken the baby puree but resulted in a highly concentrated sugar content, despite there being no artificially added sugar.

Dr Sundborn said the effects of exposing infants to such high-sugar diets could condition them to develop a pallet for sweetness, and lead to weight issues later in life.

The study could also find no specific guidelines for the manufacture of baby food in New Zealand.

Although, there is infant nutrition guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health.

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