An investigation into the accuracy of food labelling and whether price influences carbohydrate content, with a specific focus on sugars.
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Non-communicable diseases (dietary related etc) are the predominant form of morbidity in developing countries. This is due to rising calorie intakes and increasingly sedentary lifestyles, which result in CVD, obesity and diabetes. The study was designed to asses' ready meal carbohydrate content in relation to price, and to analyse actual sugar content compared to the values stated in nutritional labelling, drawing conclusions about possible health implications. 24 items were tested in total, using Minitab 15.0 for statistical analysis of package data. No statistically significant correlation found between total carbohydrate content against price per 100g in either sweet or savoury meals (P = 0.998, P = 0.153), or between sugar content against price per 100g for sweet or savoury meals (P = 0.772, P = 0.418). A significant correlation was found between meal type (sweet or savoury) and the mean average of sugars present (P= 0.000). Analytical content versus labelled sugar content per l00g in chicken tikka curries displayed a statistically significant difference (P = 0.048), with value products being labelled 22.76%, brand 10% and luxury 18.2% higher than the package data. Analytical data for the sugar content of curries was found to have a significant relationship with price (P = 0.014). In conclusion, food labelling was found to be misleading for sugar content of chicken tikka curries. However, this will not have an impact on increasing risk to diabetes, dental caries, CVD or obesity as labelled amount was found to be higher than analytical. This could have implications for sports persons who wish to increase their calorie intake. Packaging data failed to provide statistically significant values for sugar or total carbohydrate content versus price in meal, despite strong correlations being found for savoury foods. Further investigation into a wider range of samples would need to be done before and assumptions could be made about this relationship.
BSc (Hons) Sports Biomedicine and Nutrition
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