Diet food brands and weight loss products are little better than their full fat counterparts, according to a new report released by consumer watchdog Which?. Brands such as Kellogg’s Special K and Weight Watchers were among those to be named and shamed.
Following an analysis of calorie, fat and sugar levels of a number of diet and light variant products Which? found that the low fat cereal Special K contained the same amount of calories at 171 per 30g as Kellogg’s Cornflakes. It also has more calories than Kellogg’s Branflakes.
Nutritionally, the report also found that Weight Watchers thick sliced white bread was so similar to Warburtons Toastie sliced white and Asda Danish white bread that consumers were better off simply buying what they preferred eating.
McVitie’s Lights digestive biscuits was found to contain less fat than McVitie’s Original biscuits but more sugar.
The consumer watchdog has however advised that consumers buy low-fat sausages in supermarkets as they contain a lot less calories and fat than regular sausages.
Which? surveyed more than 2,500 of its members and found that last year 51% had bought foods or drinks to help them lose weight.
Nikki Ratcliff, head of services research at Which?, says: “If you’re looking for a New Year quick-fix to shed a few pounds, weight-loss products aren’t the answer.
“Just because foods are labelled as light or advertised as diet brands doesn’t mean that they’re the lowest calorie option. Look at other similar products on the shelf – you might find some that don’t brand themselves as light actually have fewer calories or less fat or less sugar, so you’d be better off buying them instead.”