Study: Children Consume 10+ Pounds of Sugar Yearly in Cereal Alo - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Study: Children Consume 10+ Pounds of Sugar Yearly in Cereal Alone

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SALISBURY, Md.- What does ten pounds of sugar look like? Maybe you have a bag sitting in your pantry. A new study by the non-profit Environmental Working Group (EWG) finds that is how much the average child is consuming every year from cereal alone.

“We're watching our kids get heavier and heavier every year,” explained Regina Kundell, a nurse practitioner with PRMC’s Diabetes and Endocrinology Center. “And the health of our children is probably going to be worse than our health is.”

Environmental Working Group examined nearly 200 cereals marketed to children in its study, and found the worst offender to be Kellogg’s Honey Smacks, with a whopping 56 percent sugar by weight. Also high on the list were Malt-O-Meal Golden Puffs and Food Lion Sugar Frosted Wheat Puffs.

Kundell said too much sugar -- from sources like cereal -- not only contributes to obesity, but also other problems, like diabetes and high blood pressure. But there are better options, including General Mills Cheerios and Kellogg's Rice Krispies, which were found to be among the least sugary cereals.

“Examples of healthier choices, certainly, are the cereals that have higher fiber, less sugar,” Kundell noted.

That is something moms like Jenna Bowne of Salisbury put into practice.

“I really try to let most of the sugar that our kids consume come from natural sources, like fruits,” she told WBOC. “And I look at the labels, make sure that the cereal that we do purchase, is low in sugar.”

According to Kundell, the eating habits learned early on tend to stay with us.

“They're going to be accustomed to whatever diet they're introduced to, and they'll probably like whatever they're used to, whether it's sugary or whether it's healthy,” she explained.

In response to the study, an official with Kellogg said the company has cut sugar in its most popular children's cereals by 20 to 30 percent over time. General Mills said it has cut the sugar content by about 16 percent since 2007 in its cereals marketed to children.

The EWG advocates that companies should not market cereals to children that contain six or more grams of sugar per serving.

The full report can be found here: http://www.ewg.org/research/childrens-cereals-sugar-pound/executive-summary

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