London: Fruit drinks marketed with tall claims of providing hydration to children contain as little as 5 per cent fruit, while some others have none at all, health experts have claimed.
And to make matters worse, many are loaded with added sugar.
The experts found Ribena squash promotes its vitamin C content without making clear that 90 per cent of the vitamin content is artificially added to the drink because it contains such a small amount of fruit juice.
Fruit Shoot Hydro doesn’t contain any fruit at all, while Still Vimto and Ribena have only 5 per cent fruit and contain more added sugar than fruit.
A Vimto marketing campaign emphasises the drink’s raspberry content, says the report, despite the fact that raspberry juice makes up just 0.1 per cent of its ingredients, equivalent to about ten drops in a 500ml bottle.
Less than one-eighth of Capri-Sun drink is fruit, and it has significant added sugar, says the report.
The report, called Soft Drinks, Hard Sell, comes after the soft drinks industry reported its highest growth rate in seven years in 2010, with UK consumption reaching 14.6billion litres annually.
“Our survey found some truly misleading marketing blatantly used to drive sales and increase children’s soft drinks consumption, which contributes to tooth decay and the UK’s record rates of childhood obesity,” the Daily Mail quoted The Children’s Food Campaign’s Clare Panjwani, who wrote the report, as saying.
“We need better regulation to protect children from marketing for soft drinks and other junk food, and better food labelling so that parents and children can tell more easily what’s in the products they are buying,” Clare added.
The report calls for a ban on junk food and drink advertising on TV before the 9pm watershed, as well as traffic light labelling on packaging that would display ‘red’ for added sugars.