'Fat-free' foods fail the test

MORE than 100 food products, ranging from breakfast cereals to lollies making ''fat-free'' claims, fail to provide acceptable levels of nutrition, the official food regulator says.

Food Standards Australia New Zealand today launches a national debate on long-delayed measures to control nutrition and health claims on Australia's food.

The agency says that when products making ''fat-free'' or ''percentage fat-free'' claims are assessed for their overall nutritional value in terms of protein, dietary and vegetable content, more than 100 would fail to make the grade.

A report by the agency says products claiming to be fat-free that tend to mislead include breakfast cereals, which can be heavy in sugar and salt, salad dressings, simmer sauces and processed meats claiming to be fat-free or percentage fat-free, but which turn out to be salt-laden, and sugar-rich confectionery.

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