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Sugars are Sugars, Facts are Facts

We’d like to share some facts about sugars so that you can make an informed decision about the growing up milk powder you purchase for your child.

Fact 1: Sugars are sugars

There are different names for sugars being used – natural sugars, added sugars, natural plant sugars, corn syrup solids, sucrose, and glucose syrup solids. They are all basically the same providing extra calories and all end up the same inside a child’s body [1].

[1] Critical reviews in Food Science 1998; 38(7): 599-637. Mann J. Carbohydrates. In: Present Knowledge in Nutrition, 8th Ed. 2001. Am J Clin Nutr 2008; 88(suppl): 1716S-21S.

Fact 2: Too much added sugars is the problem

Sugars are not necessarily bad as they can help provide the energy that growing children need. However, when the level of added sugars in a growing up milk powder, becomes excessive; it can increase the risk of health problems for children now and in the future; and it does not align with any local or international recommendations [2].

[2] WHO. Obesity and Overweight Factsheet 2010. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Sep 22. [Epub ahead of print]. Anesthesiology 2008; 109(1): 137-148. Med Sci Monit 2007; 13(11): RA196-203. Brand-Miller J. Carbohydrates. In: Essentials of Human Nutrition. 2nd Ed. 2003. British Dental Journal 2002; 193(10): 563-568.

Fact 3: ‘Carbohydrates’ in milk powder consist of only sugars

Under Malaysian food labelling regulations, the ‘carbohydrate per serve’ number in the Nutrition Information Panel (NIP) on your child’s growing up milk powder is only made up of two things [3]:

  1. Sugar that is naturally present in the milk powder. The only naturally present sugar in milk is lactose. The natural lactose level in a glass of standard milk is approximately 11g-12g per serve [4].
  2. Sugars that are added to the milk powder.Anything higher than 11g-12g for ‘carbohydrate per serve’ in growing up milk powder is equal to added sugars.

[3] Regulation 18B (3)(b). Malaysian Food Act 1983 (Act 281) & Regulations (As at 15th September 2010)
[4] Handbook of dairy foods and nutrition. National Dairy Council. 2000 Composition of New Zealand Foods. Dairy Products. 1991.
[5] Malaysian Ministry of Health. Food Standards Australia New Zealand. United Kingdom Food Standards Agency. National Academy of Sciences. Food and Nutrition Board, United States.

Find out how much added sugars could be in your child’s growing up milk powder

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