Yogurt and worldwide habits

Do you sweeten yogurt ? (and why you shouldn’t have to)

Do you sweeten yogurt ? (and why you shouldn’t have to)

In France, half of plain yogurts are sweetened by consumers, before consumption. This French habit increases the sugar content and calories, compared with plain yogurt. A recent study measured specifically the quantity of sugar added in plain yogurt under naturalistic conditions of consumption. The results are quite surprising.

Sugar, honey or jam

The study was conducted on 199 French adults, regular consumers of plain yogurt with sweetening agent. At the end of a standardized meal, participants were asked to consume their usual plain yogurt type (set, stirred, health segment) and were free to use their usual type of sweetener: sugar, honey or jam. The added quantities of sweetening agent were measured indirectly by weighting the package before and after use. These quantities were converted into equivalence of added sugar quantities.

2 sugar cubes per cup

Participants added in average 13.6g of sugar equivalent per cup of yogurt, which is higher than industrialized pre-sweetened yogurts with 10.2g/cup. The quantity was higher, when consumers used jam (24.4g/cup), sugar (11.0g/cup) or honey (12.1g/ cup). Consumers sweetened also more at diner (15.5g/cup), compared to lunch (11.6g/cup).

Higher BMI, heavy user

Age and BMI were also positively correlated with higher quantities of sweeteners. People with a low consumption of sweeteners (6,1g/cup) tend to control their food better, whereas heavy users (19,9g/cup) rather seek immediate satisfaction.  But the most surprising fact is that consumers completely underestimate the amount of added sugar, which is twice the quantity they estimate (6,85g/cup). Although they were able to correctly estimate, whether they were sweetening more or less than pre-sweetened commercial yogurts.

 Source: Leclercq H et al. 12th European Nutrition Conference 2015 ; Ann Nutr Metab 2015; 67(suppl 1) p 515

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