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How healthy are malt-based beverages?


Touted as health or energy drinks for children, malt-based beverages are very popular today. But how valid are their health claims?

We picked nine popular health drinks aimed at children and tested each of them for their sugar content, to see just how much sugar goes into a serving. We then got 10 panellists to taste each of the nine brands. They listed their comments and rated each brand on seven criteria including aroma, taste and aftertaste. We wanted to see whether there was any correlation between a brand tasting good and the amount of sugar it contained.

On test were Amul Pro, Boost Choco Eclairs, Boost 3x Stamina, Bournvita, Bournvita 5-Star Magic, Complan Natural, Complan Chocolate, Horlicks Original and Horlicks Chocolate.

What we found

The brand Bournvita had the highest sugar content overall – the original Bournvita had 38.7g per 100g and Bournvita 5-Star Magic had 34.6g per 100g. Both of them scored pretty high on taste, with 75% (second highest) and 73% respectively. The panellists generally liked Bournvita’s appealing chocolate colour, smell and taste.

Horlicks Original had the lowest sugar, with 13.3g per 100g. However, it fared dismally in the taste test with a score of 42% - the second worst-tasting brand on the list. Panellists found it to be ‘too malty’ and ‘not sweet enough’.

Bournvita had 12.9g higher sugar per 100g than Complan Natural. Yet, because Complan’s recommended serving size was higher, if you followed the pack’s instructions, you would be drinking more sugar with Complan than with Bournvita.

Expert take

Nutritionist Niti Desai says: “Even if malt based health drinks have protein, vitamins and minerals as claimed, the content is very low and is hardly significant. These drinks basically just provide flavour and sugar. Many of them advertise that children who drink them will be the tallest or smartest in class. However, the amount of protein in these drinks is insufficient to boost growth significantly.”

Healthiest choice

Horlicks Original with lowest sugar content

Courtesy: Right Choice, February 2014 (

Last Updated ( Friday, 29 August 2014 09:57 )


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Invitation to Open House at CERC on World Consumer
Rights Day on 15 March 2014

Dear Sir/Madam,

Greetings from Consumer Education Research Centre (CERC),

CERC is a member of Consumers International (CI), London, a world federation of consumer groups. This year to celebrate World Consumer Rights Day on 15 March, CI has identified ‘Fix Our Phone Rights’ as the theme. The issues identified are:

1. Providing consumers with fair contracts explained clearly  
2. Giving them their money’s worth 
3. Fair and transparent billing
4. Giving consumers power over their own information 
5. Listening and responding to consumer complaints

CERC has planned an Open House on 15 March on these issues and others related to mobile services. The programme will be held between 3 and 5 pm at CERC campus on S.G. Highway, Ahmedabad. There are no fees charged for the programme, which is by invitation only.

We are happy to invite you to attend this programme. Please register your interest by filling up the registration form in the link, or call Ms Sandhya, at CERC on 079-27489445/46, 079-27438752/53/54. The first 30 registrations received will be accommodated in the programme. Confirmation of your participation will be sent to you by CERC.

Looking forward to your participation.

With Best Wishes,

Pritee Shah
Chief General Manager-CERC

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 05 March 2014 13:12 )


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CERC has been commissioned to study the Regulations and Enforcement practices regarding Safety of consumer products in India.

We come to you to learn of your experience as consumers, if the products are determined as unsafe and so also your intervention with responsible authorities.

May we request your cooperation to send your responses to the Questions in the link ( and we will be happy to have your views, comments, and suggestions even beyond the Questions listed by us.

Your cooperation will help us understand the current scenario and your inputs will be a part of Recommendations made to Ministry of Consumer Affairs regarding safety of consumer products including withdrawal and recall practices and policies.


Last Updated ( Saturday, 26 October 2013 09:35 )


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Since April 2013 the INSIGHT has merged with the consumer magazine, Right Choice, published in India by BGG Information Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai, and set up by the Which?, the UK’s largest consumer magazine. Both the Which? and Right Choice are magazines with the same ethos as the INSIGHT and accept no advertising or any benefits from manufacturers or retailers; their sole income is derived from subscriptions to their magazines.

The merger has benefited the former INSIGHT subscribers. The Right Choice is an 84 - page monthly magazine; the INSIGHT was a 52 - page bi-monthly. The Right Choice, with its larger coverage of comparative product tests, provides many more product test assessments and hence offers consumers a lot more advice on what to buy. The INSIGHT’s consumer protection advice, counselling and news are now available within the Right Choice, with exclusive CERS content in each issue, covering consumer protection, advocacy and consumer news. Besides, access to the CERC’s legal advice service and consumer redress advice will continue as previously.


Last Updated ( Thursday, 26 September 2013 05:25 )


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CERS's intervention compels mattress manufacturer to
refund partial cost of defective mattress.

Ahmedabad, March 22, 2013

A city-based manufacturer of mattresses, who sold a defective piece of product and did not care to correct the defect even within the warranty period, was compelled by Consumer Education & Research Society (CERS) to refund partial cost of the product to the buyer through an order of the consumer forum.

As per the case details, Shekhar Raval, a resident of the city, purchased a multilayer rubberized coir mattress from Mattress Mart, a shop situated in Vastrapur area of the city at a cost of Rs. 6,840 on September 30, 2010. It was a Relaxwell  mattress carrying a warranty period of 5 years. But within a few days from purchase, Shekhar Raval and his wife had  developed a back pain due to some defect in the mattress and she had to go for a medical treatment, which cost Shekhar Rs. 15,500.

Last Updated ( Monday, 08 April 2013 10:37 ) Read more...
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