Revant Himatsingka, better known online as @foodpharmer with 135,000 Instagram followers, came under criticism from Mondelez India, the business that owns Bournvita, for his April 1 video in which he criticised the product’s high sugar content. He removed the video and apologised on his Instagram account after receiving a legal warning from the business on April 13; in contrast, his Twitter account has been suspended.
In a now-deleted video, he asserted that Bournvita, a health beverage made by Mondelez India, contained colouring agents that, when consumed regularly, might result in diabetes and cancer. His suggestion was to change Bournvita’s slogan from “taiyari jeet ki” (prepared for victory) to “taiyari diabetes ki” (preparation for diabetes).
Revant apologised to Cadbury, the parent company of Bournvita, after the video garnered 12 million views on Instagram and claimed that he had received a legal notice. He removed the video and stated that he had no intention of violating any trademarks or defaming any businesses. He also asked multinational corporations (MNCs) to refrain from taking legal action against him because he lacked the funds and motivation to take part in legal proceedings.
Revant’s assertions were rejected by Mondelez India in a statement, which claimed that they were unscientific, that he had misrepresented the data, and that he had drawn erroneous and unfavourable implications. The manufacturer disagreed with the influencer’s accusations and defended the quality and safety of Bournvita.
In response to recent questions regarding the amount of sugar added to health drinks, a comparison of the top brands of over-the-counter health drink supplements found that most of them contain between 1 and 6.5 grammes of sugar (1.2 teaspoons) per 4 teaspoons. As stated, this is unquestionably within the allowed number of calories ( 10%) from sugar for a healthy child as per WHO guidelines to prevent them from indulging in a high intake of simple sugars that raises the risk of obesity and chronic diseases.
“Childhood obesity cases are on the rise, and sugar consumption is one of the causes of weight gain. A youngster will continue to consume sugary foods like jams, spreads, candies, jellies, cakes, biscuits, ketchup, and other items after consuming this healthy beverage. According to Dr. Edwina Raj, Head, Clinical Nutrition Dietetics, Aster CMI Hospital, “One cannot entirely exclude this from a child’s diet because they are completely exposed to it; therefore, portion size is the key rather than eliminating it completely which subsequently enhances their demand towards it.
A child’s daily sugar intake needs to be moderate and keep up with the rest of their diet.
“It is largely accurate that only underweight children or picky children are given health drinks, which are supplements consumed along with milk or water and contain calories, proteins, minerals, micronutrients, and vitamins. Dr. Shreya Dubey, Consultant, Neonatology & Paediatrics, CK Birla Hospital, Gurugram, states that if a child’s natural growth is good, supplements may not be necessary.
While health supplements certainly include all the necessary nutrients, the fact that they also contain a significant amount of hidden sugar cannot be disregarded. Large portion sizes of the supplement increase the risk of obesity, cardiovascular risk factors, and diabetes. Children should therefore take these supplements, even if merely on a pediatrician’s advice, continues Dr. Dubey.
WHAT DOSE OF SUGAR IS RECOMMENDED FOR KIDS?
“Children between the ages of 2 and 18 should consume no more than 6 teaspoons, or 24 grammes, of sugar daily. No additional sugar should be given to children under the age of two, advises Dr. Amish Vora, a paediatrician and neonatal intensive care specialist at Bhatia Hospital in Mumbai.
Dr. Vora continues, “This is because many youngsters nowadays are obese and have type 2 diabetes. With many chronic and allergy illnesses developing in children as they get older, young adults are developing heart disease and other cardiovascular issues. It’s critical to limit their access to processed foods, fizzy beverages, and sweetened beverages unless a doctor has specifically prescribed them. Since over-the-counter products have a high sugar content, it is recommended to avoid them. The majority of carbonated beverages have 10 gms of sugar per 100 ml, and since more than 100 ml would be consumed, the sugar level rises. Some carbonated beverages contain up to 15 gms of sugar, according to Dr Vora.
HOW DO YOU SELECT THE BEST SUPPLEMENTS FOR YOUR CHILD?
A nutritionist will be able to evaluate your child’s current nutrient intake and, if necessary, prescribe supplements based on the nutrient deficits in the child’s diet. This will ensure nutritional sufficiency and guard against deficiencies or supplement toxicity.
Every health drink or supplement has a unique composition and contains additions that have both advantages and disadvantages. Additionally, they include a lot of carbohydrates—4 teaspoons of the supplement, when mixed with milk, equal one meal of cereal or chapathi—ranging from 12 to 17 grammes. In order to avoid overfeeding children, which would raise their risk of obesity and make them more susceptible to lifestyle diseases, this must be taken into account while arranging a child’s daily meal, according to Dr. Raj.
Undoubtedly, there are many products in our environment that have nutrition labels and lengthy claims, but it is equally important for every consumer to realise that no claims should be accepted without first consulting with healthcare professionals, comprehending one’s health situation, and receiving a nutrition prescription from a Registered Dietitian.
Nutritionists, according to Dr. Raj, should assist parents in considering alternative options rather than concentrating solely on items to avoid because parents are already upset about their children’s unhealthful eating habits.