Breakfast cereals less healthy than ice cream

Watchdogs discover favourite children's cereals which contain more sugar than a bowl of ice cream

Some children’s breakfast cereals are laden with more sugar than a bowl of ice cream, a damning study has discovered.

And some contain as much salt as a packet of ready-salted crisps.

Research by the consumer watchdog Which? found the vast majority of breakfast cereals offer ‘poor nutrition‘. Using guidelines from the Food Standards Agency, just 8% were given a green light for healthy sugar levels.

Some 31 of the 100 most popular cereals surveyed contained more than four teaspoons of sugar per recommended serving. One teaspoon contains about 4g of sugar. High sugar consumption is said to be fuelling the obesity epidemic, which is leading to increased cases of heart disease.

A bowl of Tesco‘s Dark Chocolate Fudge Brownie Ice Cream contains 11.6g of sugar per serving. But Morrisons’ Choco Crackles were found to have 15.36g in a 40g bowl – almost four teaspoons.

Similar servings of Kellogg’s Coco Pops Moons & Stars, Kellogg’s Frosties and Kellogg’s Ricicles, contain more sugar than the ice cream, with 14.8g. Even a bowl of Kellogg’s Special K, which is meant to be eaten as part of a weight-loss diet, has 5.16g of sugar in a serving of 40g.

The serving size used by most cereal makers to calculate nutritional value is just 30g, reducing the amount of sugar and salt people think they are eating. But the FSA says a more realistic measure of how much people put in their bowl is 50g.

Most of these cereals contain so much sugar and salt that they can no longer be advertised during children’s programmes.

Which? chief policy adviser Sue Davies 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 less healthy.’

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