The BBC reports that the survey, conducted by the British Heart Foundation, found that "mothers believe claims such as 'a source of calcium, iron and six vitamins' mean a product is likely to be healthy." The truth, the foundation revealed, is that an average serving of a product that claims to be made with whole grains and "keep your heart healthy and maintain a healthy body," such as Nestle's Honey Shreddies, actually contain more sugar than a donut.
As part of its Food4Thought campaign, the BHF examines how food manufacturers manipulate parents through distracting health-like claims to market breakfast foods and lunchbox snacks.
The report is a call to action, indicating the need for stronger regulation of junk food marketing. The BHF is asking for:
- A ban on all junk food advertising on television before 9 p.m., allowing parents to be confident that any products they see advertised before that time are suitable for a child’s healthy diet.
- Legislation in the UK to make the regulatory framework consistent. "There must be equally stringent measures across broadcast and non-broadcast marketing and an end to the loophole that allows the claims that are outlawed in television campaigns to still be made on product packaging."
- A mandatory front of pack food labelling system to help parents understand the nutritional values of the products they are purchasing.