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