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Kids' cereal: still too sweet? Group updates 'worst' list

10:07 AM, Jun 24, 2012   |    comments
Photo by Paul Sakuma, AP Nathaniel Donaker, 4, eats Kellogg's Frosted Flakes cereal at his home in Palo Alto, Calif. The cereal is among many sweet brands marketed to children, but it does not make a watchdog group's list of 10 worst nutrition bets.
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By Kim Painter, USA TODAY

Sorry kids: Froot Loops and Cocoa Puffs still aren't health foods.

While most cereals marketed to children have gotten a bit healthier -- lower in sugar and salt and higher in whole grains and fiber -- they still typically contain a spoonful of sugar for every three spoonfuls of cereal, says a new report from watchdogs at the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity. Meanwhile, companies are spending more money to market their least nutritious brands, researchers say.

The report updates one from 2009 and follows the industry's pledge to make kids' cereals better on their own -- without government regulation.

While the report says the companies aren't doing enough, an industry representative tells Reuters: "Changing kids' taste preferences takes time and effort. The notion that kids could stop eating Froot Loops and go and have Grape-Nuts, with all due respect to Grape-Nuts, to me is unrealistic and not practical."

Here's the Rudd Center's list of the ten least nutritious cereals advertised to kids:

  1. Pebbles
  2. Reese's Puffs
  3. Cinnamon Toast Crunch
  4. Lucky Charms
  5. Trix
  6. Froot Loops
  7. Apple Jacks
  8. Cocoa Puffs
  9. Honey Nut Cheerios
  10. Cookie Crisp

Most of the cereals on that list also are the list of the cereals marketed most often to kids, the report says.
How nutritious is your kids' cereal? You can type it in at to find out.


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