Suffice it to say that millions of children are beginning their day going into Sugar Shock.
So found a scary new report on popular cereals, Sugar in Children's Cereal, from the Environmental Working Group, a non-profit, non-partisan research organization dedicated to using the power of information to protect human health and the environment.
The Environmental Working Group arrived at its frightening sugar findings after studying 84 popular brands of cereal, many of them marketed directly to children, to see if they meet either the federal government's proposed nutrition guidelines or the industry's looser nutrition guidelines.
And the EWG found lots about sugar, sugar, sugar.
Kellogg's Honey Smacks, which has nearly 56 percent sugar by weight, leads the list of the 10 worst children’s cereals, according to EWG’s analysis.
In fact, the EWG found, a one-cup serving of the brand contains more sugar than a Hostess Twinkie.
Meanwhile, one cup of any of the 44 other children’s cereals has more sugar than three Chips Ahoy! cookies.
Here's EWG's list of the 10 worst cereals.
|10 Worst Children’s Cereals
Based on percent sugar by weight
|1.) Kellogg’s Honey Smacks||55.6%|
|2.) Post Golden Crisp||51.9%|
|3.) Kellogg’s Froot Loops Marshmallow||48.3%|
|4.) Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch’s OOPS! All Berries||46.9%|
|5.) Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch Original||44.4%|
|6.) Quaker Oats Oh!s||44.4%|
|7.) Kellogg’s Smorz||43.3%|
|8.) Kellogg’s Apple Jacks||42.9%|
|9.) Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch’s Crunch Berries||42.3%|
|10.) Kellogg’s Froot Loops Original||41.4%|
Of course, this EWG report comes as no surprise to me, given that I often share information about sugar's pervasiveness and its dangers, as I did in my first book, Sugar Shock.
So why should you care about your kids eating so much sugar for breakfast?
As the EWG points out, studies suggest that children who eat breakfasts that are high in sugar have more problems at school.
For instance, they become more frustrated and have a harder time working independently than kids who eat lower-sugar breakfasts, as the EWG noted. And by lunchtime, these kids who filled up on sugar for breakfast have less energy, are hungrier, show attention deficits and make more mistakes on their work.
Kudos to the Environmental Working Group for sharing this important news.
Click here to see the best and worst cereals, as discovered by the EWG.
Wondering what's a good breakfast then? Well, for starters, why do your kids have to have cereal to start the day?
But if they do, make sure, as nutrition expert Marion Nestle, Ph.D., recommends that you pick:
- Cereals with a short ingredient list
- Cereals high in fiber.
- Cereals with little or no added sugars (such as honey, molasses, fruit juice concentrate, brown sugar, corn sweetener, sucrose, lactose, glucose, high-fructose corn syrup and malt syrup).
An easy breakfast for children would be a piece of fresh fruit (like an orange or apple), a cooked of steel cut oats (sprinkled with cinnamon), some plain milk (if they can handle dairy), and a hard boiled egg (prepared the night before).
Have you heard yet that my next book, Beyond Sugar Shock, is due out next year? Stay tuned for details.