U.S. children who are eating a bowl of sugary cereal every morning are consuming more than 10 pounds of sugar annually, which amounts to at least double the daily recommended intake of added sugar, according to a new study by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a Washington D.C.-based health information non-profit group. Furthermore, researchers say that cereal makers and food regulators are doing very little to address the issue.
The report covers more than 1,500 cereals, including 181 marketed to children. On average, the kids' cereals have more than 40 percent more sugars than adult cereals, and none of the 181 brands marketed to children was free of added sugars.
EWG consultant and study co-author Dawn Undurraga says that there is "a lot more that manufacturers and the FDA could be doing to protect kids." The high sugar content is certainly a contributing factor to obesity and other health problems in kids.
The report named Kellogg Company's Honey Smacks as one of the worst offenders, with 56 percent sugar by weight. In response, a Kellogg official said that the company has cut the sugar in its best-selling kids' cereals by 20 to 30 percent over time, and says that the EWG report ignores the nutritional benefits provided by a breakfast cereal.
Cereal maker General Mills has cut the sugar content in its cereals marketed to kids by an average of 16 percent since 2007, according to their spokesperson Kirstie Foster. General Mills cereals marketed to children have 10 grams of sugar or less per serving. However, the EWG says companies should not market cereals containing more than 6 grams of sugar per serving to children.