Article courtesy of Reuters News Service via “The Rundown”
U.S. children are consuming more than 10 pounds of sugar annually if they eat a typical morning bowl of cereal each day, contributing to obesity and other health problems, and cereal makers and regulators are doing little to address the issue, according to a study released on Thursday.
The Environmental Working Group, a Washington, D.C.-based health information non-profit, said its report covers more than 1,500 cereals, including 181 marketed to children.
As part of the report, the group re-examined 84 cereals it studied in a similar report in 2011, and found that the sugar content of those cereals remained on average at 29 percent. Some cereals had increased sugar content now compared to 2011, and none of the 181 cereals marketed to children was free of added sugars, the group found. On average, children’s cereals have more than 40 percent more sugars than adult cereals, EWG said.
“Obviously we know cereals have a lot of sugar in them,” said Dawn Undurraga, an EWG consultant and a co-author of the report. “But there is a lot that manufacturers can be doing and FDA can be doing, to protect kids.”
The group said one of the worst offenders is Kellogg Co.’s Honey Smacks, with 56 percent sugar by weight.
A child eating an average serving of a typical children’s cereal eats more than 10 pounds of sugar a year from that source alone, and the average daily intake of added sugar for children is two to three times the recommended amount, the EWG said.
A Kellogg official said the company has cut sugar in its top-selling kids’ cereals by 20 percent to 30 percent over time. The company said the EWG report ignores the benefits provided by a cereal breakfast, including pre-sweetened cereals.
“When you consider what constitutes a good breakfast, cereal and fat free milk pack a powerful nutritional punch, lower in fat and calories than many other breakfast choices, and including many nutrients that people might otherwise miss,” said company spokeswoman Kris Charles.
Here’s are the cereals in the watchdog group’s “Hall of Shame” for having more than 50 percent sugar by weight:
- Kellogg’s Honey Smacks
- Malt-O-Meal Golden Puffs
- Mom’s Best Cereals Honey-Ful Wheat
- Malt-O-Meal Berry Colossal Crunch with Marshmallows
- Post Golden Crisp
- Grace Instant Green Banana Porridge
- Blanchard & Blanchard Granola
- Lieber’s Cocoa Frosted Flakes
- Lieber’s Honey Ringee Os
- Food Lion Sugar Frosted Wheat Puffs
- Krasdale Fruity Circles
- Safeway Kitchens Silly Circles