Pasta sauce is one of the quick-fixes when it comes to dinner time and kids, but parents may be unwittingly feeding their children a lot of sugar. In some cases, it’s more than pizza or a Happy Meal.
DW Fitness Clubs looked at 13 brands from supermarket to household names, and found that in one case, half a jar of bolognese sauce from Tesco contained over 18 grams of sugar per half a jar.
Brands like Sainsbury’s pasta and herb sauce contained 8.75 grams while Dolmio’s light option had 5.25 grams per portion (quarter of a jar).
Carly Yue, nutritionist and personal trainer at DW Fitness Clubs says: “It’s so easy to overeat pasta sauces, a jar between two adults really is the norm for a lot of people. I’d always recommend cooking pasta sauce from scratch, or if you’re in a hurry, at least use tinned tomatoes which are far lower in sugar.”
However, Dolmio’s spokesperson said that care needed to be taken in such studies to factor in naturally occurring sugars. They said: “Unfortunately the information shared with you is inaccurate and confusing. There is actually only 2.1g of added sugar in a 125g portion of Dolmio Bolognese, that’s half a teaspoon.
“Each portion also contains one of your recommended 5-a-day and is made with 100% natural ingredients. All our products carry traffic light labelling and the correct Reference Intake information is on the front of pack.”
Although the good news is that the government has announced it will spend millions gained through sugar tax to tackle childhood obesity, hidden sugars are a big problem in a child’s diet.
In January this year, HuffPost UK reported that children consume half their RDA of sugar at breakfast, according to Public Health England. Sugar also has a huge impact on tooth decay – recent reports revealed that the number of under-fours being hospitalised for tooth extraction has risen by a quarter.