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Saturday, June 12, 2010

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False Health Claims on Cereal Cost Kellogg
Food manufacturer Kellogg has again been called on the carpet by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for making false claims on the front of one of its bestselling cereals: Rice Krispies. Advertising that the cereal improved children’s health has not been backed up by scientific evidence, much like its claim last year on Frosted Mini Wheats that they improved children’s attentiveness.

Many food choices are made with convenience in mind: working parents, school-aged children, extracurricular activities all add up to reaching for prepared food. Cereal is one of those common convenience items that can be found in just about every pantry. But what is actually in that cereal and how good it is for you can really only be determined by closely reading the Nutritional Data that is required on all processed food.

A study published earlier this year, conducted by the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University, shows that cereals marketed to our children have 85 percent more sugar, 65 percent less fiber, and 60 percent more sodium, not to mention the additional unnecessary calories that they add to the breakfast bowl. Regardless of health claims on the front of the package, consumers need to read the fine print to determine any actual benefits that their children will receive from such food.

Look for cereals that have 10 grams or less of sugar per serving and look at the serving size, which varies. Cereal bowls, when filled, tend to be twice what the average serving size is (3/4 to 1 cup), meaning that your child is getting twice the amount of sugar than you intended. And many go back for seconds, compounding the issue.

Healthy and quick breakfast options include: hot cereal during cold mornings: oatmeal, cream of wheat and cream of rice all have quick-cooking versions that take about 3-4 minutes total. Yogurt and fruit, whole grain toaster waffles, and whole grain English muffins also make a good start to the day. And don’t forget that 100% juice or glass of milk.

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