Most of us are growing accustomed to the fact that cereal may not be the healthiest breakfast choice.
Our fears have been confirmed thanks to a new study by Public Health Liverpool (PHL).
They found that some cereals contain over half of a child’s recommended daily sugar intake.
Major names including Kellogg’s and Nestle are on the naughty list with the likes of Coco Pops, Coco Shreddies and Cookie Crisp having the highest sugar content.
Liverpool’s Save Kids from Sugar campaign aims to encourage parents to offer their children healthier diet options.
PHL broke down cereals into ‘high’ and ‘medium’ sugar classifications, noting that too much sugar can lead to obesity, tooth decay and type 2 diabetes in children. More serious conditions such as heart disease and some cancers can also be caused.
While the aforementioned chocolate-infused cereals ranked the worst on the list, more surprising options came a close second. Cheerios, Shreddies and Rice Krispies were placed on the ‘medium’ list, meaning their sugar content was between 1 and 2.2 sugar cubes per 40g serving.
Every cereal on the ‘high’ list was guilty of including between 2.4 and 3.7 sugar cubes per 40g serving.
Healthier options were also named. These included Shredded Wheat, Weetabix and Ready Brek.
Alternatively, parents can ban cereals from their household and offer scrambled or boiled eggs or toast instead.
Liverpool authorities will be placing posters and leaflets in health centres, dentists and hospitals over the next few months. A public health team will also be working with school breakfast clubs in a bid to introduce healthier cereals.
Cereal giant Kellogg’s said it had recently cut sugar in Coco Pops by 14%. A spokesperson for the company commented: “We have a long tradition of helping improve the health of the nation – whether that’s adding folic acid in our foods to combat birth defects to reducing salt – and we take our responsibilities seriously.”
“That’s why Kellogg’s is committed to providing people with less salt and sugar in our foods. Our actions will have reduced sugar from the UK’s diet by more than 2,000 tonnes by the end of 2017.”
Meanwhile, Nestle said that “providing clear nutrition labelling has long been a focus. We agree that we all have a role to play in limiting the amount of sugar children consume… and we continue to look for opportunities to make further improvements.”
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