Thursday, December 8, 2011

Environmental Working Group's "Sugar in Children's Cereals"

The Environmental Working Group (EWG), which does great work on our behalf protecting public health and the environment, just released a new report, "Sugar in Children's Cereals: Popular Brands Pack More Sugar Than Snack Cakes and Cookies."

Anyone who has ever read an ingredient list will not be surprised by EWG's findings. From the summary of the study, which analyzed 84 popular brands of cereal:
"Kellogg’s Honey Smacks, at nearly 56 percent sugar by weight, leads the list of high-sugar cereals, according to EWG’s analysis.

"A one-cup serving of Honey Smacks packs more sugar than a Hostess Twinkie, and one cup of any of 44 other children’s cereals has more sugar than three Chips Ahoy! cookies.

"Most children’s cereals fail to meet the federal government’s proposed voluntary guidelines for foods nutritious enough to be marketed to children. Sugar is the top problem, but many also contain too much sodium or fat or not enough whole grain."
In addition to the study's sugar content findings, the report's section on the "politics of nutrition and children's food" encapsulates the difficulties inherent to a system that kowtows to corporate interests at the sake of public health.

For more on Big Food's marketing schemes and its attempts at self-regulation, click here to read a blog post by Michele Simon, a public health lawyer specializing in industry marketing and lobbying tactics.

For a list of the best and worst cereals, click here.

To read the whole report, click here.

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