Children’s Cereal: More Sugar Than a Twinkie?

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Some children’s cereals pack more sugar in a single cup than a Twinkie, according to a new report by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). And many others have more sugar per cup than three Chips Ahoy cookies.

Needless to say, most children’s cereals fail to meet the voluntary nutrition guidelines recently proposed by a government working group for all food and drink marketed to kids. The industry, which is lobbying against the proposal, not surprisingly, has set its own standards — allowing up to 38% sugar content in cereals by weight, as opposed to the government’s 26% — and while most products (again, not surprisingly) meet the industry’s higher bar, many don’t.

For the new report, the EWG analyzed the nutrition in 84 popular cereals, and came to some startling conclusions about just how much sugar many American kids may be getting first thing in the morning. The group has called on the federal panel to strengthen its guidelines and make them mandatory. “Few parents would agree that a cereal that is one-quarter sugar by weight is the best that cereal makers can do for children,” the report says.

Click on to find out the worst sugar offenders, the healthiest options, and how a high-sugar start affects children’s performance the rest of the day.

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