Food-to-go brands rapped for muffin sugar content

Blueberry muffins sold by leading foodservice brands contain more sugar than a can of Coke, according to new analysis.

Action on Sugar and the Obesity Health Alliance (OHA) surveyed 28 muffins and found huge variations in both their size and sugar content as well as a lack of nutritional information.

Costa and McDonald’s were among the worst offenders with muffins containing the equivalent of 10 and eight teaspoons of sugar respectively.

On average, muffins bought on-the-go at railway station food outlets had 19% more sugar per portion and were 32% bigger than those bought in supermarkets. Of all the blueberry muffins included in the survey 61% contained six teaspoons of sugar or more.

Caroline Cerny, Obesity Health Alliance lead, said the fact some muffins contained half as much sugar as others showed it was possible for businesses to significantly reduce sugar levels. “Industry must step up to the plate and take responsibility for making the food they produce healthier,” she added.

The campaigners also found a lack of nutrition labelling on products sold at train station outlets of brands including AMT Coffee, Camden Food Co., Delice de France, Patisserie Valerie, Pumpkin, Ritazza and Upper Crust, as well as in supermarket bakeries.

Kawther Hashem, registered nutritionist from Action on Sugar, said the analysis showed just how difficult it could be for the public to make informed food choices on-the-go. “It is time all out of home outlets are made to be transparent about the nutrition content of their products by making nutrition labelling available to consumers at the point of sale,” she said.

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