Researchers analyzed more than 900 yogurt brands found in United Kingdom supermarkets and found that only 9% can be classed as low in sugar, containing less than five grams of sugar per 100 grams, while just 2% of children's yogurts are low in sugar. Nevertheless, yogurt may be an unrecognised source of sugar, particularly for young children, who eat a lot of it.
Often marketed as a healthy dairy product, yogurt is not necessarily good as it contains free or added sugars and fat - even more than soft drinks and fruit juices, thus increasing the risk of obesity, a study has claimed.
The total average sugars included in organic yoghurt was 13.1g per 100g and in childrens yoghurts it was 10.8.
Organic yogurts contained an average of 13.1 grams of sugar per 100 grams, which is roughly equivalent to three sugar cubes, while children's yogurts averaged 10.8 grams.
Low fat and low sugar were classified according to European Union regulations, now used for the front of pack food traffic light labelling system used in the United Kingdom: 3 grammes of fat/100 grammes or less or 1.5 grammes or less for drinks; and a maximum of 5 grammes of total sugars/100 grammes. These were followed by products in the children's, flavoured, fruit, and organic categories. Only yogurts labeled as "natural" or "Greek" qualified as low-sugar products.
It's important to note that food labels in the United Kingdom report nutritional contents differently than in the U.S. Every component is based on a standard 100 gram portion rather than the classic U.S.
Moore's research prompted her to wean her daughter off of sugary, dessert-like yogurts.
"I think people, including parents, will be surprised to know just how much sugar there is in yoghurt".
Not all products are as healthy as consumers perceive them to be, researchers say.
Pushing your kids towards the yogurt rack at the supermarket to make him make healthier choices, may actually be an unhealthy idea.
Yogurts found in a USA supermarket have similar amounts of sugar to those found in United Kingdom stores.
Still, the amount of sugar in many commercially available yogurts is less than ideal.
Getting into the habit of eating natural or Greek yogurt with fresh, whole fruit for sweetness would add no free sugar and would have the added benefit of contributing to the five a day recommendation for fruit and veg. Twice the level considered appropriate for a food to be labeled "low sugar".
Yet, the halo effect of yogurt is powerful, and for Moore, this is perhaps the most significant implication of the study.
In Greek yogurts, there might be four to six grams of naturally occurring lactose and 8 to 10 grams in non-Greek yogurts.