Breakfast cereals with more sugar than a doughnut

This accompanied a great Despatches programme on Channel 4 (UK) on Monday 26 October 2009 (sadly no longer available).

The programme looked at sugar (and salt) in our breakfast cereals and did some really practical exercises with children and parents, which were very visual and impactful. The parents didn’t have a clue how to read a cereal packet label (not their fault was the conclusion – the implication being that the cereal manufacturers are not exactly going to make it easy to work out that their products are full of sugar/salt). The children then demonstrated that they had a strong familiarity (and therefore preference for) branded cereals and shunned the supermarket own label products, which were invariably lower in sugar and salt.

Frosties came out top of the sugar table, with a whopping 36% sugar! Honey Cheerios, Sugar Puffs, Coco Pops and Honey Loops all came out at around 1/3 sugar. Imagine taking 3 spoons of cereal and the third spoon, in effect, is white sugar every time. This is quite a shocking thought.

It was great to see sugar getting a bashing for once – 99 times out of 100 it seems to be fat in the dock.

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