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February 16, 2012
Children's Cereal Are So Full of Sugar That They Should Be In The Cookie Aisle

Children's breakfast cereals are so full of sugar they would be better placed alongside chocolate cookies on grocery shelves, claim consumer watchdogs.

The research group Which? said: 'Cereals aimed at children were particularly disappointing, with high levels of sugar found in 12 out of 14, meaning that many would be more at home in the chocolate biscuit aisle.'

Kellogg's Frosted Flakes came out worst on the basis it is 37 per cent sugar. Supermarket chocolate rice cereals came a close second.

A high-sugar diet is implicated in rising obesity and tooth decay among the nation's children.

Overall, 32 out of 50 cereals were high in sugar, including several that are marketed as healthy or slimming options, such as Kellogg's Special K.

Executive director at Which?, Richard Lloyd, said: 'Parents will be particularly surprised by the fact the majority of children's cereals contain so much sugar. More action is needed by retailers and manufacturers to provide a wider choice of healthier cereals.'

He said a lack of consistent labelling across brands makes it difficult for families to quickly identify the healthier options.

Many companies print nutrition information on packs, but they use different serving sizes as the basis for their calculations.

The consumer group is a supporter of so-called traffic light labels, which identify when products are high in sugar, salt or fat using red, amber and green icons.

Mr Lloyd said: 'The Government needs to encourage manufacturers to take action over sugar levels and provide consistent nutrition labelling that includes traffic light colour coding so it is easy to see exactly what you are buying.'

Nestle's Shredded Wheat was considered the healthiest cereal of the bunch, with low levels of sugar, fat and salt.

Which? experts said they were pleased to see reductions in salt across the majority of breakfast cereals.

Kellogg's rejected the criticism, saying it provides clear information on sugar and salt levels and gives shoppers a huge choice.

The Breakfast Cereal Information Service, which speaks for manufacturers, denied there was a link between sugary cereals and obesity.


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