Sugars In Your Growing Up Milk II

December 27, 2011 at 8:35 pm

To supplement my earlier post, I have a few Videos to share from the experts who recently visited Malaysia discussing the disadvantages of added sugars in GUM (growing up milk).

Professor Peter S.W. Davies

Here is his 1st video

It’s a myth where parents assume children need a lot of added sugars for energy and growth. In fact any form of added sugar (Corn syrup solids, glucose syrup solids and sucrose) when consumed by a child, those extra calories may simply convert to excessive body fats and may contribute towards later overweight and obesity.

Here is his 2nd video

As a guideline, the World Health Organisation say we should keep added sugar intakes to less than 10% of our total calorie intake. So for a growing up milk for a 2 to 3 year old child, that’s not really many calories to put aside for added sugar – only 150Kcal or less than 7 teaspoon per day maximum.

Dr John Monro

Here is his 1st video

There’s natural sugar level (lactose) of 11g-12g per serving in children’s milk, anything above this can be considered added sugars.
Do check the ingredient list for added sugar ingredients.

Here is his 2nd video

The nutritional definition of sugars represents more than just mono- and disaccharides because the body digests and metabolises things like corn syrup solids and glucose syrup solids just like sugars and they give rise to sugars immediately in the body.
Added sugars include Corn syrup and glucose syrup solids.
To give yourself a guide to the amount of added sugar, look at ‘carbohydrate per serve’ in a growing up milk powder.

Here is his 3rd video

He reiterated the fact that looking at ‘carbohydrate per serve’ is a good to give us a guide to the amount of added sugars in a growing up milk powder. Anything higher than 11-12g for ‘carbohydrate per serve’ is added sugars.

In short, all these videos are asking you to learn to recognize the different names of added sugar, and make sure you are checking the nutrition information panel of the growing up milk you are buying.

Sugar In Your Growing Up Milk

December 9, 2011 at 4:10 pm


The debate is still on. Is added sugars ok in growing up milk?

If you are still confused with fact of sugars in milk, I’d gotten some materials from some key opinion leaders on this topic. Let me share with you some points of what they said.

Dr John Monro from Plant & Food Research, New Zealand :
1) All sugars are sourced from plants except for lactose which are naturally present in milk

2) Added sugars (in milk powder) are mostly factory products of chemical and enzymatic starch digestion

3) All sugars and pre-sugars (carbohydrate) are rapidly converted to sugars in the body

4) And to sum it all, see the diagram below :
Carbo vs Sugar
(credit : Dr John Monro)

The child could be consuming a lot of *added sugars every day!

Professor Peter SW Davies from The University of Queensland :
1) In 2010, 43milion Preschool children are overweight or 92milion ‘at risk’ of overweight

2) If we lose the ability to ‘balance’ our intake and expenditure body weight can be lost or gained dramatically

3) WHO Recommendation on Nutrient Intake Goals
…………………………% of Total Energy
Fat —————————-15-30%
Protein ———————-10-15%
Carbohydrates———— 55-75%
Free/Added Sugars —– < 10% 5) Carbohydrates with nutritious value (you can find a whole list on the internet) : bread, banana, apple etc 6) Added sugars have NO nutritious value which is Empty Calories. Extra calories lead to weight gain, and is not required in a healthy diet. 7) So what can we do? Select wholesome natural food as source for carbohydrates; look out for *added sugars in processed foods. While we know that growing up milk has essential nutrients for growing up children (for their brain and physical development) , and contains more nutrient than a glass of fresh milk, what you can see from the above key opinion leaders is that, the excessive added sugars being added in is not needed in children’s growing up milk. So parents, when you are choosing your children’s growing up milk, do check the carbohydrate per serving found in the tin/pack of the milk. Remember, anything above 11-12g per serve is added sugars. *Added sugars come in the form of corn syrup solids, sucrose, glucose syrup solids, maltodextrin

Growing Up Milk – Do You Really Need The Extra Sugar?

June 27, 2011 at 4:19 pm

After realizing the sugar content in the girls’ growing up milk, I was really looking into switching the girls’ milk.

I started doing research on the web.

There is a lot of information on the web about sugars in children’s growing up milk from various milk companies. Most have stated their reasons on why sugars are added. I.e.
1) Children need carbo because carbo generates energy which is required for their rapid growth
2) Sugar is added for taste and what’s added by milk companies is compliance with Malaysia’s Recommended Nutrient Intake (RNI) and World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendation
3) Added sugars are from natural plant sugars
4) High lactose is not well tolerated by Malaysian children, therefore natural sugar is added instead of lactose

However, these are my thoughts :
1) Sugars are sugars, natural plant sugar, natural sugar, they are basically the same. If I want the girls to have natural plant sugar, I would give them watermelon (a fruit which has the highest natural sugar) for example, and not what is added to their milk for whatever reasons. And to be honest, I won’t give them watermelon every day, because of its sugar content, so why would I want to feed my children milk added with sugar every day, three times a day?

2) I don’t want the girls to develop a sweet tooth. I’d tried a few brands of growing up milk, IT IS very sweet, overly sweet for my liking.

3) I read on the net and also was told by a dietician, and got this – Under Malaysian food labelling regulations, the ‘carbohydrate per serve’ number in the Nutrition Information Panel (NIP) on growing up milk is only made up of two things:
a. Lactose which is sugar naturally present in the milk. The natural lactose level in a glass of standard milk is approximately 9g-13g per serve (200ml).
b. Sugars that are added to the milk powder. Anything higher than 9g-13g for ‘carbohydrate per serve’ in growing up milk is equal to added sugars

So as parents, we have to make informed decision about getting what growing up milk for the kids.
1) Check your child’s growing up milk powder pack/tin – look only at 2 things.
a. The ingredient list – corn syrup solids, sucrose, glucose syrup solids, these are all added sugars.
b. The carbohydrate per serve in the NPI – remember, anything above 11g-12g per serve (the lactose present in milk) is added sugars

2) Taste the milk. I do that often when I want to introduce a new brand to my girls. If I find it too sweet or too artificial tasting (some milk tastes like plastic!), I won’t consider.

3) Talk to people (other parents, your paed etc), do your own research and find out more.

For now, while still hunting for the right milk, Zara, being almost 7, has stopped drinking growing up milk but is on fresh milk now; as for Zaria, because she’s still not 5, she’s still taking her growing up milk. As fresh milk lacks the added nutrient, we are supplementing Zara with multivits.

Once we’d found the right growing up milk, both girls will be switched to that.

Sugar Control

March 23, 2011 at 4:44 pm


My two girls love sweets, especially Zara. She can be popping sweets in her mouth like pop corns while watching TV, and before you know it, she’s finished a bowl of sweets. Does your child love sweets like Zara?
At times when I see them eating sweets like that, and all the rest of sweet drinks they are taking, I’m worried about their sugar intake.

The girls are already eating lots of other things which contain sugar, e.g. the daily carbohydrate that they are taking, fruits, biscuits, cultured milks and not to mention the various sweets (the ones we bought or the ones they got from party packs).

I don’t want them to grow up to be obese, and have a string of other health issues (e.g. diabetes, high blood pressure, which I’m high risk for both) because of their excessive sugar intake.

Just like our MOH’s Less Sugar campaign launched last year (url: ), in our own household we’re trying to do something similar.

When we buy something which will be consumed by the girls, e.g. juice, milk, even sweets, we always check the label for the sugar content. Do you know besides checking the label for the sugar content for added sugar (e.g. sucrose, corn syrups solids, glucose syrups solids), you should also check the carbohydrate content, if you are not aware, the higher the carbohydrate means the higher the added sugar level.

For sweets, we always try to buy those that are sweetened by fruit juice. (Girls called them ‘high quality sweets’.) If possible we go for non added sugar product, or a product that has lower sugar level (in the form of added sugar or carbohydrates).

When I bake at home, I too tend to reduce about 1/3 sugar in the bake goods.

Do you do sugar watch like this in your household too?

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