Concerning Levels of Lead and Sodium in Lunchables, Consumer Reports Warned

Concerning Levels of Lead and Sodium in Lunchables
Concerning Levels of Lead and Sodium in Lunchables. Credit | Getty images

United States: According to Consumer Reports, Lunchables, the very readily attainable plastic portions of cheese, cold meals, and crackers, are being consumed heavily by many parents and contain high levels of lead and sodium.

In order to find out the damage being caused, the advocacy group tested and compared Lunchables products by Kraft Heinz and other similar lunch and snack offerings by other manufacturers.

Amy Keating, a registered dietitian at Consumer Reports (CR), said, “There’s a lot to be concerned about in these kits,” and, “They’re highly processed, and regularly eating processed meat, a main ingredient in many of these products, has been linked to increased risk of some cancers.”

Results found out by the researchers

The report, meanwhile, acknowledged that levels of none of the tested products exceeded the regulatory limits but discovered that five out of twelve products exposed children to 50 percent or more of the maximum allowable amount of lead or cadmium, as these heavy metals may cause developmental and kid’s other problems, the group stated.

In the Lunchables of Turkey and Cheddar Cracker Stackers, with 3.2 ounces of product lead was 74 percent over the level advised by California, and 49 percent of the daily recommended salt intake for kids ages 4 to 8.

Eric Boring, a CR chemist who led the testing, said, “The kits provide only about 15% of the 1,600 daily calories that a typical 8-year-old requires, but that small amount of food puts them fairly close to the daily maximum limit for lead,” and, “So if a child gets more than half of the daily limit for lead from so few calories, there’s little room for potential exposure from other foods, drinking water or the environment.”

Further added, “We don’t think anybody should regularly eat these products, and they definitely shouldn’t be considered a healthy school lunch,” said Boring.

Petition to remove Lunchable from Free school meals

Visual Representation. Credit | AP

The Consumer Reports has urged the US Department of Agriculture to eliminate the Heinz products from the National School Lunch Program. It is as per the petition which included signatures from 15,000 petitioners.

A program is organized at the federal level where low-cost or free meals are given to kids during school days.

Kraft Heinz defends the meals

A spokesperson from Kraft Heinz said, “Many of our Lunchables products are a good source of protein, offering nutrients through meats and cheeses. We’ve taken great steps to improve the nutrition profile of Lunchables, including recently unveiling Lunchables with Fresh Fruit, in partnership with Fresh Del Monte, and reducing the sodium in all Lunchables crackers by 26%,” as US News reported.

Further, “According to current science, processed foods arbitrarily classified as ‘ultra-processed’ are not necessarily less nutritious,” said the spokesperson.

And “In fact, many processed foods contain added nutrients, providing even more benefits to the consumer. The classification of foods should be based on scientific evidence that includes an assessment of the nutritional value of the whole product, not restricted to one element such as a single ingredient or the level of processing.”