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New Report Differentiates Healthy from Sugary Children’s Cereals

October 04, 2008 08:00 AM
by Lindsey Chapman
A new report confirms what many parents already know: some popular kids’ cereals are heavy in sugary ingredients and low on nutrients.

Nutritional Value of Cereal

Consumer Reports released a study of the nutritional value of children’s cereals, and reported that some of the breakfast foods contain more than 50 percent sugar by weight, according to Reuters. Additionally, a few brands sold to U.S. consumers also have less sugar and sodium than the same cereals in other markets.

A survey of 91 children ages 6 to 16 indicated that most children overfill their cereal bowls to exceed the serving size recommended on nutritional labels, by 50 to 65 percent. If kids ate the average amount of Frosted Flakes they poured for themselves, for example, they would get 18 grams of sugar per serving.

“Be sure to read the product labels, and choose cereals that are high in fiber and low in sugar and sodium,” Gayle Williams, deputy editor of Consumer Reports Health, said in a Reuters article.

So what cereals are healthier to consume? According to Consumer Reports, Cheerios, Honey Nut Cheerios, Life and Kix are low in sugar, high in dietary fiber, and performed well on the organization’s new nutritional ratings system. Some of the cereals that fell lower in the nutritional rankings are Corn Pops, Rice Krispies and Cap’n Crunch.

Obesity Focus

Children’s nutrition, particularly the emphasis on the obesity epidemic has garnered considerable national and worldwide attention. Health advocates and policy-makers are turning to schools in an effort to combat the problem.

Reference: Making sense of food labels; children’s health


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