Bad Taste Awards out sneaky sugar-filled 'healthy' foods

Consumer New Zealand has opened nominations for an award that every food company will be trying to avoid.

The Bad Taste Food Awards expose products that are advertised as being healthier than they actually are.

Consumer NZ chief executive Sue Chetwin says it's a way of "bringing the manufacturers to book and outing them for some of the claims that they are making".

The awards allow consumers to nominate products they believe are advertised as being 'healthier' than they actually are.

Top of the list last year was Kellog's Nutrigrain, which is 26 percent sugar, and Milo powder, which is almost 50 percent sugar.

"Basically, we're trying to make things better for consumers," says Ms Chetwin. 

She believes consumers need the help, due to a plethora of misinformation.

 "If you've got something high in sugar, then you just shouldn't be able to get a high rating," she says.

Newshub contacted Nestle and Kellog's about last year's Bad Taste Awards, and both companies stand by their products.

Kellog's says its advertising of Nutri-Grain is accurate and Nestle says Milo encourages children to drink milk.

NZ Nutrition Foundation nutritionist Sarah Hanrahan says the use of 'sport' to promote sugary products to children suggests a wider problem.

"Certainly, a kid at primary school doing the cross country does not need anything special... you know, a sandwich and a glass of milk is fine."

But she believes busy parents are often the biggest consumers of misinformation.

Consumer New Zealand says its hopes the prospect of getting a Bad Taste Award will change the way companies advertise their products.