Parents want their children to start the day out right, especially during this time of year when kids are heading back to school. For many families, that often includes a bowl of cereal.
A spoonful of sugar for every three spoonfuls of cereal is not what most parents want their kids to find in their cereal box! But if you are feeding them popular cereals like Lucky Charms for Frosted Flakes, that’s what they are eating.
The cereals most marketed to children are also the ones that serve up the most sugar, according to a new report from the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity.
While cereal companies chose to aggressively market unhealthy, sugary cereals to kids, most companies also have much healthier cereals in their product lines, the report finds. That’s why PreventObesity.net is working with the Rudd Center to ask cereal companies to promote healthy cereals to kids.
The cereals marketed to kids are far less healthy than those marketed to adults. They have 56 percent more sugar, half as much fiber and 50 percent more sodium. That’s certainly not a healthy way to start the morning, especially considering the fact we are in the midst of the childhood obesity epidemic. More than one-third of children are now overweight or obese, putting them at risk for conditions such as Type 2 Diabetes, hypertension and even some cancers.
Even though most popular kids’ cereals are still poor in nutritional quality, companies aren’t boxed in. They also make healthy cereals that they could market to kids. They just choose not to.
That’s why we’re asking Fed Up with Lunch readers to join us in encouraging companies such as General Mills, Kellogg’s and Post to promote healthier options to kids. Tell them to promote cereals such as regular Cheerios, Unfrosted Mini-Wheats or Shredded Wheat over Trix, Frosted Flakes, Pebbles and other products loaded with sugar.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Let’s work together to make it a healthy one, too.
Elizabeth Brotherton-Bunch is the senior writer and editor for PreventObesity.net, an online advocacy network of people dedicated to reversing childhood obesity. A project of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, PreventObesity.net connects leaders across the childhood obesity movement with hundreds of thousands of supporters in advocacy efforts to implement policies that will help reduce childhood obesity nationwide.