LITTLE effort appears to have been made to reduce sugar in children's
cereals nearly three years after a damning report, a consumer watchdog
A study by Which? said there had been some progress since it reported on the healthiness of breakfast cereals in 2006.
it said sugar levels were "shockingly high" and it was "particularly
worrying" that so many high-sugar cereals were still marketed to
A survey by the organisation of 100 cereals bought in
January from the main supermarkets – excluding hot cereals and muesli –
found a lower proportion of high-sugar cereals overall compared with
But only 8 per cent qualified for a Food Standards Agency
"green light" for low levels of sugar, with 31 of the 100 cereals
examined containing more than four teaspoons of sugar per recommended
Only one of the 28 cereals specifically marketed to children was found not to be high in sugar, the consumer group said.
report highlighted high sugar levels in Kellogg's Coco Pops Moons and
Stars, Frosties and Ricicles which were 37 per cent pure sugar.
Choco Crackles, listed by Which? as the most sugary, at 38.4g per 100g,
has been reformulated, the supermarket chain said. It now has a sugar
content of 36g per 100g, the chain said, bringing it into line with
The chain also pointed out that Morrisons
Honey Nut Cornflakes – in the list of top 10 worst salt "offenders"
compiled by Which? – has also been reformulated and now has a salt
content of 0.7g per 100g, a "significant" reduction on the 1.8g per
100g shown in the Which? report.
Many brands thought of as
healthy, such as Kellogg's All Bran, Bran Flakes and Special K, failed
to impress the researchers. They said starting the day with a
recommended serving of Special K would be "almost the sugar equivalent"
of waking up to a serving of Tesco Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake Premium
In 2006, Which? published a study showing that more
than three-quarters of the 275 cereals tested had high sugar levels.
The figure rose to 88 per cent of the 52 products specifically targeted
Today's report Going Against the Grain, said there
had been some "positive progress" since 2006, with the most progress
made in reducing salt levels. Eight of the 100 cereals were classed as
high in salt in 2009, compared with almost a fifth of the 275 sampled
But Which? said Tesco Special Flakes had the same proportion of salt as Walkers' salted crisps.
report called for a ban on marketing cereals high in sugar, salt or fat
to children. It was "disappointing", it added, that cartoon characters
were used to promote "less healthy" cereals to children.
Davies, chief policy adviser at Which?, said: "Breakfast is important,
and some cereals deserve their healthy image, but most simply don't.
It's especially shocking that almost all those targeted at children are
A Tesco spokesman said: "Over the last three
years Tesco has removed nearly 3,000 tons of salt and 2,500 tons of fat
from its own-label products."
A spokeswoman for Kellogg's said: "
this grabs headlines and sells magazines, it shouldn't be confused with
sound scientific research that consistently shows that people who eat
breakfast cereals, regardless of sugar content, are slimmer than those
The Association of Cereal Food Manufacturers, whose
members include Kellogg's, Weetabix and Dorset Cereals, said people
examining the nutritional content of breakfast cereals should look at
the portion size and not 100g samples.
Morrisons said it "has a
concerted programme of development on its own-label brands and both of
the findings highlighted in the Which? report are from old products
which have been completely reformulated.
spokeswoman said the salt content of Sainsbury's Be Good To Yourself
Balance had been reduced by more than half since the test was carried
out by Which?
BITTER SWEET TRUTH ABOUT BREAKFAST
TOP 10 SUGAR
1. Morrisons Choco Crackles (38.4g) (Now reformulated to 36g per 100g]
2. Kellogg's Coco Pops Moons & Stars (37g)
3. Kellogg's Frosties (37g)
4. Kellogg's Ricicles (37g)
5. Sainsbury's Choco Rice Pops (36g)
6. Tesco Choco Snaps (36g)
7. Nestle Cookie Crisp (35.3g)
8. Nestle Cheerios Honey (35.1g)
9. Kellogg's Crunchy Nut (35g)
10. Nestle Nesquik (35g)
TOP 10 SALT
1. Tesco Special Flakes (2.0g)
2. Kellogg's Corn Flakes (1.8g)
3. Kellogg's Honey Loops (1.8g)
4. Morrison's Honey Nut Corn Flakes (1.8g) (now reformulated with a salt content of 0.7g per 100g]
5. Whole Earth Organic Corn Flakes (1.8g)
6. Kellogg's Rice Krispies (1.65g)
7. Sainsbury's Be Good To Yourself Balance (1.60g) (now reformulated with a salt content of 0.73g per 100g]
8. Tesco Corn Flakes (1.60g)
9. Kellogg's Fruit and Fibre (1.4g)
10. Kellogg's Bran Flakes/Sultana Bran (1.3g)
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