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Fruit and vegetable claims on food packages are not regulated under Australian food standards. The present study aimed to: (i) investigate the number and healthiness of products carrying fruit and vegetable claims in Australia; and (ii) compare the nutrition composition of these products with fresh fruit and/or vegetables.
Content analysis of fruit and vegetable claims on food packages. The Australian food standards nutrient profiling model was used to determine the proportion of products not meeting nutrient profiling criteria. The nutrient composition of products carrying claims referencing the servings of fruit and vegetables in the product were compared with that of the dominant fruit and/or vegetables in each product.
The five largest supermarket chains in Australia.
All available products in the fruit snacks, soups and fruit and vegetable juices/fruit drinks categories (n 762) were surveyed. Nutrition composition, ingredients and claims were recorded for each product.
Of the products surveyed, 48 % (n 366) carried at least one claim, of which 34 % (n 124) did not meet nutrient profiling. Products carrying claims referencing the number of servings of fruit and vegetables had more energy, sodium, saturated fat and sugar, and less fibre, than fresh fruit and/or vegetables (all P<0·001).
Many products carried fruit and vegetable claims and were significantly higher in energy, saturated fat, sugars and sodium than fresh fruit and vegetables. Marketing these products as a way of meeting fruit and vegetable intake is inaccurate and potentially misleading. Fruit and vegetable claims should be regulated using nutrient profiling.
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