Children’s cereal sugar levels sky high
A new report by the Environmental Working Group in the USA, which examined 84 cereals, has found that many which are targeted at children are loaded with sugar and that three contained more sugar than the popular American snack Twinkies.
by Louise-Anne Geddes, Mindful Mum, 7th December 2011
The report states that the Kellogg’s cereal Honey Smacks contains almost 56 percent sugar by weight, the highest of all in the study. Five of the top 10 worse cereals for children were Kellogg’s products, including Apple Jacks and Froot Loops.
Not nutritionally sound
The report cover states that ‘most parents say no to dessert for breakfast, but many children’s cereals have just as much sugar as a dessert — or more’. Just 1 in 4 of the cereals evaluated met the voluntary guidelines on sugar which were proposed earlier this year by a panel of federal nutrition scientists and marketing experts. The Inter-agency Working Group on Food Marketed to Children, was convened by Congress in response to the childhood obesity epidemic in the USA, where one in five children are recognised to be clinically obese.
Advice on healthy breakfasts
The report authors offer these tips on how to ensure that your child’s breakfast is healthy.
- Avoid cereals which do not meet nutrition guidelines
- Choose cereals which are free from artificial flavors, colors and artificial sweeteners and are not too high in fat or sugar
- Look for cereals with a short ingredient list – as this means less additives
- Make breakfast at home, as take away can be high in fat and sugar.
Further Information and Support
To find out more about foods to avoid, see Charlotte Stirling-Reed’s article Top foods to avoid and NHS Choices – Common questions about child nutrition.
Source: Environmental Working Group, Sugar in children’s cereals: Popular brands pack more sugar than snack cakes and cookies, December 2011
Further Information: Web MD, Many Kids’ Cereals Loaded With Sugar: Report, 7 December 2011
Photography: Andy Melton @Flickr