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Dessert For Breakfast? Kids’ Cereals Have As Much Sugar

Cookies for breakfast? Not quite, but many popular children's cereals contain as much sugar as Chips Ahoy!

cereal

Photo: Jessica Wilson (Flickr)

When you pick up a box of popular children's cereal, up to 50 percent of the weight is sugar, a new study finds.

What lurks in your children’s cereal box? It could have as much sugar as dessert, a new study finds.

The Interagency Working Group conducted a study on breakfast cereals marketed towards children to see if they met governmental voluntary guidelines for sodium, fat, whole grains and sugar.

Out of 84 brands, only one in four met all the guidelines. Sugar content has the most disturbing facts — Kellogg’s Honey Smacks weighed in at 56 percent sugar by weight.

Forty-four other cereals had as much sugar in a one-cup serving as three Chips Ahoy! chocolate chip cookies.

A Kellogg’s representative argued Honey Smacks wasn’t actually marketed to children. Still many see the study as supporting why the cereal industry has pushed back hard against the voluntary guidelines.

All is not lost. The report suggests a simple solution — if you don’t want your children eating that much sugar, don’t buy the cereal.

Studies have shown when children are offered a low-sugar option, they are just as happy.

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Liz Leslie

Liz Leslie is a journalist based in Chicago. When she's not writing about food, she's likely eating food. Or dreaming about food.

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