Should Kids’ Cereal be in the Candy Aisle?

A recent article said that children’s cereals are so sugary, they should be put alongside chocolate biscuits/cookies on the store shelves.  Consumer watchdogs have accused manufacturers for failing to do enough to lower the amount of sugar levels in their cereals.

Research group Which? said that cereals aimed at children were very disappointing, with high levels of sugar found in 85% of cereals.  The most sugary cereals had a range of 34g to 37g of sugar per 100g, with Kellogg’s Frosties/Frosted Flakes the worst offender.  House brand chocolate rice cereal came in a close second.  It’s no wonder there’s a rising obesity and tooth decay problem among the nation’s children.

There were some cereals that are high in sugar and are marketed as healthy or slimming such as Kellogg’s Special K.  Some parents may be surprised to find out that these cereals contain so much sugar.  More action is needed by retailers and manufacturers to provide a wider choice of healthier cereals.  The problem is that they make a higher profit on the sugary cereals than they do on the healthier ones.

Many companies print nutrition info on the packages, but they use different serving sizes as the basis for their calculations, which make it difficult for parents to identify the healthier options.  The consumer group is a supporter of so-called ‘traffic light labels’ which identify when products are high in sugar, salt and fat using red, yellow and green icons.

Nestle’s Shredded Wheat was the healthiest cereal, with only 0.7g sugar per 100g and low levels of salt and fat.  Which? experts did say they were pleased to see reductions in salt across the majority of breakfast cereals.

Kelloggs’ had a hissy fit rejected the criticism, saying it provides clear info on sugar and salt levels and gives shoppers a huge choice.

The Breakfast Cereal Information Service, which speaks for manufacturers, denied there was a link between sugary cereals and obesity. (They’re joking, right?)  It said: ‘A huge number of studies show that consumers who eat breakfast cereals have a lower body mass index than non-consumers and are at less risk of being overweight.’

‘A recent study looking at children confirmed that breakfast cereals (notice they don’t say ‘sugary breakfast cereals) are the most nutritious choice.  The study found that prevalence of obesity was higher in breakfast-skippers than cereal consumers.’

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Happy Birthday! to Chef P ♥

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