Position statement in response to recent media articles on vitamin gummies
We reiterate that supplements should not replace a balanced diet and should only be considered when a parent is concerned that their child’s dietary intake is not adequate.
Gummies supplements were developed based on research that showed a format that addressed both taste and ease of use was needed to improve children’s compliance of taking supplementary nutrients. Recognising that the majority of children’s medicines and supplements are sweetened and flavoured to improve compliance, Kids Smart and Bioglan gummies were introduced as an option for parents who would like to top up their child’s vitamin intake. Gummies are part of a broad range of children’s vitamins in a number of formats that Kids Smart and Bioglan market for children’s supplementation needs.
The fact that gummies contain sugar is not withheld from the public. The statement “Contains sugars” is clearly stipulated on the label, in accordance with the TGA labelling regulations. Furthermore, the products are clearly marketed as soft pastilles/gummies with an obvious sugar coating visible on the gummies.
With reference to dental decay concerns, the causes are wide and varied. We would assert that poor dental hygiene would be the most significant factor. If all foods however were to be assessed for their role as potential causative agents of tooth decay, we would hold the strong view that gummies would not be one of these. It should be noted that the amount of sugar in a gummie is significantly lower in comparison to many common food products eaten by children. For example, a well-known cereal brand has 10.7g of sugar per serve in comparison to one standard gummie which contains approximately 1g sugar (combination of sucrose and glucose), which equates to less than ¼ teaspoon. Comparisons to the sugar content of milk are equally revealing.
Based on WHO recommendation of reducing the intake of free sugars to less than 10% of total energy intake, each gummie would equate to 2.4%* of the recommended maximum free sugar intake (based on 4 year old boy who has a moderate physical activity level with recommended energy requirement of 6600kJ, 10% of the total energy intake equates to 41.2g sugar per day).
This is further supported by the ADA (Australian Dental Association) that holds the position that there is NO SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE to assert that vitamin gummies are a contributing to tooth decay.