{Might as well feed your kids Twinkies} Children’s Cereals are Sugar Bombs

sugar in children's cereals

How ’bout a couple of cookies for breakfast, son?

No? How ’bout a Twinkie?

Oh, you’d rather have some cereal? That’s a great choice – much more nutritious than eating dessert for breakfast!

Not so fast, dad.

That breakfast cereal could actually have more sugar in it than junk food, according to a new study from the Environmental Working Group.

EWG reviewed 84 popular brands of cereals, including many marketed directly to children, and found that 56 of them were more than 24% sugar (by weight), with some cereals containing as much as 55% sugar!

  • One cup of any of three popular children’s cereals contains more sugar than a Twinkie: Kellogg’s Honey Smacks, Post Golden Crisp, and General Mills Wheaties Fuel.
  • One cup of any of 44 children’s cereals – including Honey Nut Cheerios, Apple Jacks, and Cap’n Crunch – contains more sugar than 3 Chips Ahoy! cookies.
  • 3 out of 4 cereals analyzed would not meet proposed federal nutrition recommendations, and 1 out of 4 fell short of the industry’s own proposed guidelines.

Is this really how children ought to be nourished? Of course not, but try telling that to the companies with a huge vested interest in what kids eat every day.

“Cereal companies have spent fortunes on convincing parents that a kid’s breakfast means cereal, and that sugary cereals are fun, benign, and all kids will eat. 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. No public health agency has anywhere near the education budget equivalent to that spent on a single cereal. Kids should not be eating sugar for breakfast. They should be eating real food.” – Marion Nestle, NYU nutrition professor

Go download the EWG report: Sugar in Children’s Cereals

Derek Markham

Things I dig include: simple living, natural fatherhood, attachment parenting, natural building, unassisted childbirth (homebirth), bicycles, permaculture, organic and biodynamic gardening, vegan peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips, bouldering, and the blues. Find me elsewhere at @NaturalPapa, @DerekMarkham, Google+, or RebelMouse.

2 thoughts on “{Might as well feed your kids Twinkies} Children’s Cereals are Sugar Bombs

  • December 9, 2011 at 3:19 pm
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    Interesting and disturbing. Also, kind of amusing that the professor you quoted is named “Nestle.”

    Reply
  • December 13, 2011 at 9:39 am
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    First time visitor to your site and love your posts especially this one. Am an RD, Nutritionist myself & Love the way you broken down this piece. Like the sprout recipe too !

    Reply

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