Sunday 21 January 2018

Extra added sugar in Kellogg's and Nestle cereals makes Irish among sweetest in the world

Kellogg's products
Kellogg's products
Pupils who eat breakfast are up to twice as likely to do well at school as those who do not

Sasha Brady

Irish breakfast cereals are among the least healthy in the world, and there is a shocking difference in the salt and sugar content of the same cereal sold in different countries.

Almost six-in-ten breakfast cereals are too sweet but there is a different in sugar and salt content found in the same brand, depending on which country it's purchased in.

Irish and British cereals are among the least healthy, according to a study.

More than one-in-two contained half the recommended daily intake for a three-year-old in just one serving.

One of the worst offenders is Kellogg's Frosties with 37g of sugar per 100g. A large bowl contains nine teaspoons of sugar; that's the equivalent of a can of fizzy drink.

Crunchy Nut Cornflakes contain 35g of sugar per 100g - equivalent to half the daily recommended intake for a three-year-old in one serving. In Australia, the sugar content is 31.7g per 100g.

Pupils who eat breakfast are up to twice as likely to do well at school as those who do not
Pupils who eat breakfast are up to twice as likely to do well at school as those who do not

Even plainer cereals, considered a healthier alternative to the sugar-loaded varieties still contain shocking amounts of sugar. A box of Multigrain Cheerios in Ireland have 21g of sugar per 100g, but in Canada it's 20g.

Experts have described the levels of sugar in the cereal brands aimed at children "shocking" and are calling on Kellogg's and Nestle to act now and "save lives" by greatly reducing the amount of added sugar to its products.

Nutritionist Aveen Bannon, of the Dublin Nutrition Centre, said a good rule of thumb was that any option with less than 10g of sugar per 100g was acceptable but less than 5g per 100g was ideal.

The report, published by the World Action on Salt and Health (WASH) analysed the breakfast composition of 19 breakfast cereals manufactured by Kellogg's and Nestle in 29 countries.

WASH is now calling for "all food manufacturers to universally reduce the salt and sugar content of their products to help achieve the global World Health Organization (WHO) maximum target of 5g salt per adult per day and 25g free sugars per day".

According to the survey the "top five cereals with the highest sugar" per 100g were all Kellogg products.

Breakfast cereals can be high in sugar
Breakfast cereals can be high in sugar

Top of WASH's list was Kellogg's Honey Smacks in Mexico, with 57g of sugars. Second was the US group's Frosties sold in Australia and New Zealand with 41.3g, with its Froot Loops in Brazil and Mexico at third with 40g.

Kellogg's Coco Pops on sale in the US and Hong Kong was fourth with 38.7g, followed by the company's Crunchy Nut Cornflakes – sold in the UK, Hungary, India, Kuwait, Spain, Ireland, United Arab Emirates – with 35g.

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