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Health  2024 

Type 2 Diabetes—Hard to Select a Healthy Choice

DOI: 10.4236/health.2024.161001, PP. 1-8

Keywords: Type 2 Diabetes, High Sugar Content in Müsli, Difficulty Making Healthy Choices, Central Food Bureaucracy

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Abstract:

Introduction: The use of foods containing high levels of sugar is increasing all the time. This is a risk factor for increased incidence of type 2 diabetes. There are few studies that have investigated the availability of low-sugar müsli products in grocery stores. Purpose: The study aims to identify which types of müsli contain high respectively low levels of sugar, and which brands are involved. Methods: The material consists of both qualitative interviews and observations from five grocery stores: City Gross, Hemköp, Ica Maxi, Stora Coop and Willy’s in Helsingborg, Sweden. The qualitative interviews had a semi-structured character and were recorded. The interviews took approx. 20 minutes and a textual analysis was conducted of the results. Data from observation was analyzed based on brand, nutritional composition and flavors, and also, where low sugar products were placed on store shelves. Results: The grocery stores provided together brands from AXA, Coop, Finax, Frebaco, Garant, ICA, Risenta, Saltå Kvarn och Urtekram, in total 24 müsli products. Of these products, 19 were high in sugar. The observation reveals that müsli products with high sugar content (17 - 29 g per 100 g müsli) are more prominently displayed than those with low sugar content. From the interviews with the store managers, it became clear that it would be valuable to highlight healthy müsli products on the shelves. However, central bureaucracy puts obstacles to such measures. Discussion: The study emphasizes the need for increased visibility of low-sugar products and proposes solutions such as negotiating with responsible person at the head office in Stockholm. Several reviews have shown that if the grocery store raises the prices of unhealthy food, the consumer is willing to purchase healthier müsli and other products. Conclusion: This study shows the need for grocery stores to upgrade healthy müsli products along with advertising to be able to influence customer’s shopping habits. Also, further research is needed how type 2 diabetes is affected by high intakes of food products with high sugar content.

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