Nutritional evolution of chocolate bars between 2007 and 2011
The nutritional composition of chocolate snack bars in New Zealand and Australia has remained unchanged in the four years between 2007 and 2011, according to a research done by Pérezgonzález (2011a2). That is, although individual chocolate bars may have changed slightly in nutritional composition, the average chocolate bar in 2007 and the average chocolate bar in 2011 are practically the same.
Using a sample of 15 chocolate snack bars of the same brand and make for both periods, Pérezgonzález found no significant differences in either the nutritional composition of the snack bars or their overall nutritional balance (see Illustration 1). The average nutritional balance was BNI 124.05s in 2007 and BNI 123.53s in 2011, hardly any change at all.
Results were also very similar for individual macronutrients, which showed that an average chocolate bar is extremely low in protein and fiber, and extremely high in sugars, fat and saturated fat; on the positive side, it is also extremely low in sodium (see profile in Illustration 2).
Individual chocolate snack bars may have changed slightly in nutritional composition and, thus, nutritional balance, but while some snack bars may have become slightly more balanced, others have become equally more unbalanced, resulting in a similar average for both years. Illustration 3 shows small changes in nutritional balance along the years and across different international Recommended Dietary Intakes (RDIs). It also shows that these nutritional indexes are high and relatively similar to each other, indicating that the nutritional composition of chocolate snack bars would be deemed equally unbalanced in different countries.
|Illustration 3: Nutritional balance across different RDIs (average snack bar)|
|(Aero Temptations caramel)||2007||135.91||135.91||105.91||135.91||131.91|
|Dairy Milk caramello||Cadbury||2011||130.04||130.04||100.04||130.04||126.04|
|Dairy Milk fruit & nut||Cadbury||2011||130.13||130.13||93.51||123.51||119.51|
Furthermore, the correlations between the results obtained using the BNI™ RDIs and those of other nutritional standards were also very high and significantly so. This suggests that the nutritional balance reported by the BNI™ index matches that of other national standards. (Said otherwise, that chocolate snack bars tend to form a similar hierarchy when indexed using different international standards).
|Illustration 4: Correlations between RDIs|
Jose D PEREZGONZALEZ (2011). Massey University, Turitea Campus, Private Bag 11-222, Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand. (JDPerezgonzalez).
|Other interesting sites|
Wiki of Science
The Balanced Nutrition Index