Morning sugar shock
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|Wed, 12-07-2011 - 9:33am|
At least three popular children’s cereals are packed with more sugar in a one-cup serving than a Hostess Twinkie, and an additional 44 are loaded with more sugar in a cup than three Chips Ahoy cookies, according to a study released Tuesday by the Environmental Working Group.
Kellogg’s Honey Smacks, Post Golden Crisp and General Mills Wheaties Fuel rank as the worst offenders based on the Twinkie measure, said the study , which analyzed 84 cereals. Other brands — including Honey Nut Cheerios, Apple Jacks and Cap’n Crunch — are among the 44 cereals that have more sugar in a cup than three Chips Ahoy cookies.
In nearly three-dozen brands, sugar makes up more than a third of the cereal by weight, the study said. Those include the original and “marshmallow” versions of Kellogg’s Froot Loops, as well as the original and “all berries” version of Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch.
“Most parents would never serve dessert for breakfast, but many children’s cereals have just as much sugar or more,” said Jane Houlihan, senior vice president of research for the group, a nonprofit that researches everything from the safety of sunscreens to pesticides in foods. “I wasn’t surpised that so many of these cereals contained sugar. I was suprised at the very high amounts.”
The report comes at a time when the federal government is considering voluntary guidelines for foods marketed to children. With obesity rates at epidemic levels, a federal inter-agency group wants the industry to limit the sodium, fats and added sugars in the foods and drinks advertised to kids ages 2 to 17.
But the industry has lobbied against the proposal, which would take effect in 2016. Food companies say the guidelines are back-door regulations that would effectively ban food advertising to youth because they are so severe.
The guidelines allow for 13