Posted on May 22, 2014

Pediatricians often tell parents to make sure that their children have a full breakfast and suggest cereal as a way of getting many vitamins and nutrients. But experts are warning parents about a major ingredient in many children’s cereals that often gets overlooked.

CBS news reports on the sugar content in children's cereals. Should your child be having cereal every morning? According to experts children’s cereals now have a ludicrous level of sugar in them that parents are not aware of.

Many cereals have as much sugar as cookies. So are they actually healthy? “A new report by a consumer watchdog group says a shocking amount of sugar is packed into children's breakfast cereals. Eating a bowl of kids' cereal every day would add up to consuming the equivalent of 10 pounds of sugar a year,” according to CBS. 

Sugary children’s cereals are said to add to the growing obesity problem among American children. Expert nutritionist and co-author of published reports on children’s nutrition, Dawn Undurraga, told CBS, “Breakfast cereals are the single greatest source of added sugars in the diets of children under the age of eight.”

CBS explains the results of the newest report, “The report says that 34 percent of the calories in children's cereals come from sugar. For two-thirds of the cereals, a single serving contains a third of the sugar a child should consume in a day. For 40 cereals, a single serving contains over 60 percent of the daily amount of sugar, according to researchers. There are very few low-sugar options among the children's cereals reviewed. An EWC reevaluation of 84 cereals reviewed in 2011, showed only 11 had reduced their sugar content. Many brands still had as much sugar in a single serving as three Chips Ahoy! cookies, according to the report.”

Also in the 2011 review “the serving size was found to be an ‘unrealistically small amount in most cases,’ researchers said, so many children are likely to eat even more in a sitting,” according to CBS.

Experts are particularly concerned about sugar content in children’s cereals because most over weight children are eating these cereals on an almost daily basis. Dr. Trasande, from NYU Langone Medical Center, told CBS News, “The [EWG] report rightly raises substantial concerns about added sugar and potential associated risks of obesity, which remains epidemic in US children and costly to society. In 2008, we documented that the annual health care expenditures attributable to obesity in children were $2.9 billion.”


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