Health officials in Liverpool have publicly named and shamed the breakfast cereals they believe have the highest sugar content.
In an attempt to battle the rising childhood obesity crisis, PHL has launched the health campaign Save Kids from Sugar, to inform parents on the high amount of sugar found in many cereals.
One of the first actions taken was to list the worst-offending breakfast cereals, which were categorised into groups, and identify healthier options to choose instead.
‘High sugar’ cereals, which have between 2.4 and 3.7 sugar cubes per 40g serving, include:
- Kellogg’s Frosties (3.7 sugar cubes)
- Kellogg’s Coco pops (3.5 sugar cubes)
- Kellogg’s Crunchy Nut (3.5 sugar cubes)
- Kellogg’s Krave (2.8 sugar cubes)
‘Medium sugar’ cereals, which have between 1 and 2.2 sugar cubes per 40g serving, include:
- Nestle Cheerios (2.1 sugar cubes)
- Weetabix Ltd Weetos (2.1 sugar cubes)
- Nestle Shreddies (1.5 sugar cubes)
- Kellogg’s Rice Krispies (1 sugar cube)
‘Healthier options’, which have less than 0.5 sugar cubes per 40g serving, include:
- Weetabix (0.5 sugar cubes)
- Nestle Shredded Wheat (0.5 sugar cubes)
- Weetabix Ltd Ready Brek (0.5 sugar cubes)
This category also included alternatives such as scrambled/boiled egg or toast.
Additionally, the council highlighted that Own-Brand versions, such as Choco Rice and Frosted Flakes, can contain similar levels of sugar.
“It is a myth that breakfast cereals are a healthy choice,” said Councillor Tim Beaumont. “Some are, but most are loaded with sugar.
“Families simply don’t realise how much is in them. Combined with other sugary snacks, drinks and chocolate bars, this is contributing to an alarming level of tooth decay and obesity in children.
“Dentists are having to remove teeth from children as young as five under general anaesthetic on a weekly basis. Almost a third of five-year-olds in Liverpool have decayed, missing or filled teeth, with two children a day under the age of 10 having to be admitted to hospital to get teeth removed.”
Currently, the maximum recommended daily allowance for children aged seven to 10 years is six cubes. However, many children consume well above this each day, sometimes by the time they even get to school in the morning.
A spokesperson for Kellogg’s said: “We have a long tradition of helping improve the health of the nation, whether that’s adding folic acid in our foods to combat birth defects, to reducing salt, and we take our responsibilities seriously.
“That’s why Kellogg’s is committed to providing people with less salt and sugar in our foods. Our actions will have reduced sugar from the UK’s diet by more than 2,000 tonnes by the end of 2017.”