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Breakfast Cereals are too Sweet, Report Finds

Update Date: May 15, 2014 10:31 AM EDT

Breakfast cereal is a fast and easy option for families who might not have enough time in the morning to cook. Despite the convenience of eating breakfast cereals, a new study conducted by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG) reported that these options are too sweet to eat every day.

For this report, the researchers examined the sugar content of 1556 cereal with 181 of them targeted specifically for children. The team found that all of the children's cereal options contained added sugars, which are used to make the products tastier. The researchers reported that if children ate a kid's cereal every single day, they would end up consuming 10 pounds of sugar per year.

The adult options were relatively better since 47 of them did not have any sugar at all. The researchers calculated that children's cereals had an average of 40 percent more sugar in each serving in comparison to one serving of an adult cereal. The researchers cautioned that since the serving sizes do not accurately depict the amount of food Americans eat, parents could be widely underestimating the amount of sugar they are feeding their children.

"When you exclude obviously sugar-heavy foods like candy, cookies, ice cream, soft and fruit drinks, breakfast cereals are the single greatest source of added sugars in the diets of children under the age of eight," nutritionist and EWG consultant Dawn Undurraga, co-author of the organization's new report, said in the news release. "Cereals that pack in as much sugar as junk food should not be considered part of a healthy breakfast or diet. Kids already eat two to three times the amount of sugar experts recommend."

The EWG report listed the top 12 offenders that made it on the EWG's "Hall of Shame." These cereals all contain more than 50 percent sugar by weight. The cereals are:

Kellogg's Honey Smacks

Malt-O-Meal Golden Puffs

Mom's Best Cereals Honey-Ful Wheat

Malt-O-Meal Berry Colossal Crunch with Marshmallows

Post Golden Crisp

Grace Instant Green Banana Porridge

Blanchard & Blanchard Granola

Lieber's Cocoa Frosted Flakes

Lieber's Honey Ringee Os

Food Lion Sugar Frosted Wheat Puffs

Krasdale Fruity Circles

Safeway Kitchens Silly Circles

A representative with Kellogg, Kris Charles, argued, according to the Financial Express, "When you consider what constitutes a good breakfast, cereal and fat free milk pack a powerful nutritional punch, lower in fat and calories than many other breakfast choices, and including many nutrients that people might otherwise miss."

The report, Children's Cereals: Sugar by the Pound, can be found here.

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