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Sugar Levels Still High In Kids’ Cereals

WASHINGTON, Dec. 7 (UPI) — Some popular children’s cereals are still packed with sugar, with three brands having more in a one-cup serving than a Hostess Twinkie, a U.S. study says.

The study of 84 cereals by the Environmental Working Group said Kellogg’s Honey Smacks, Post Golden Crisp and General Mills Wheaties Fuel rank as the worst offenders based on the Twinkie standard.

Forty-four other cereals have more sugar in a cup than three Chips Ahoy cookies, the study found.

“Most parents would never serve dessert for breakfast, but many children’s cereals have just as much sugar or more,” Jane Houlihan, senior vice president of research for the EWG, said in a release from the group Wednesday. “As a mom of two, I was stunned to discover just how much sugar comes in a box of children’s cereal.”

Sugar makes up more than a third of the cereal by weight in almost three dozen of the brands studies, the group said.

For the cereal companies, it’s about selling products, Marion Nestle, a nutrition and food studies professor at New York University, said.

“The cereals on the EWG highest-sugar list are among the most profitable for their makers, who back up their investment with advertising budgets of $20 million a year or more,” she said.

“Kids should not be eating sugar for breakfast. They should be eating real food.”

About one in five American children is obese, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which has reported childhood obesity has tripled over the past 30 years.

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  • s c

    This problem is not new, and since the AMA crowd doesn’t seem willing to make a difference and put cereal manufacturers ‘in their place,’ then I see no reason to think cereal makers really give a damn about kids’ health. Dentists have a vested interest in looking the other way.
    Cereal makers, on the other hand, have done little or nothing to insure that American kids get NUTRITIOUS cereal(s). As I recall, FDA slimers are so busy being ‘scientists’ that they can’t find the time to remind cereal makers that too much sugar is too much sugar.
    The rest of the equation [the FDA, MDs, parents and kids who are smart enough to watch what they eat] just isn’t broad enough to keep kids safe from their own bad habits and the stupidity or greed of America’s cereal makers. So, how many years do cereal makers, the FDA, MDs, parents and kids need to act as though good health is important?
    What do we have to lose by putting a high sugar tax on cereals? The only downside to this suggestion is the FDA. The FDA has an abysmal record in making sure that Americans get healthy, nutritious food.
    Most MDs are curiously indifferent to an issue that they should have understood early in medical school.
    If nothing else, real health experts and nutritionists should band together and compensate for the non-scientists at the FDA and cereal makers and MDs who may think about high sugar in cereal(s) but are to comfy making easy money to ‘get involved.’

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