Two brands of kids' gummie vitamins are more than 55% sugar.
Bioglan Kids Smart Vita Gummies Multi-Vitamin + Vegies are sugar-coated gummies claiming to “help support healthy growth and development”, and “the maintenance of healthy eyesight, bones, skin, gums, teeth and general health and wellbeing”. Radiance says its teddy-shaped Kids Gummies multi-vitamins make “it easy to top up your kids’ diet” and “provide that extra nutrition they may not be getting from mealtimes”.
Both products tout the levels of vitamins and minerals in each gummie, with Bioglan’s offering containing powdered carrot, tomato, spinach, beetroot and artichoke. However, despite listing added sugars in the ingredients list, nowhere on the packaging does it state how much sugar a gummie contains. These products are marketed as dietary supplements, which means they don’t require a nutrition information panel that states the sugar content.
To find out how sweet these vitamins really are, we sent samples to an independent lab. Radiance’s gummies contained 56% sugar and Bioglan’s gummies packed 65%. That’s more than some similar-looking sweets – Haribo Goldbears have 53% sugar and Starburst Babies 45%.
In Australia, public health experts are calling for these types of gummie supplements to be banned because of their high sugar levels and food acids, which can damage teeth. They say their sticky consistency adds to the problem.
The Ministry of Health recommends children only take supplements in specific situations. For example, a child with a milk allergy may need extra calcium in their diet. The ministry also says reliance on supplements may lead to a false sense of security about a child’s diet and may justify poor food choices.
Bioglan recommends children older than 4 take 2 gummies a day. Radiance recommends 2 gummies a day for kids over 2. That’s about half a teaspoon of sugar in each serve.
We think these lolly-like supplements can encourage a sweet tooth at a young age. Then there’s the cost. Sixty Radiance gummies cost $16.90, while 60 Bioglan gummies will set you back $18.99. You’re better off spending this money on fruit and vegetables.