FOR THE WEEK OF DEC. 12, 2011
Pick cereal that's less sugary than cookies or a Twinkie, health advisers suggest
Look for other health or nutrition news of interest and tell how it could affect you or your family.
Can you spot an ad, recipe or restaurant report that mentions something you haven't tasted. Does it sound good?
Now try to find holiday season coverage involving a food drive or other assistance for people in need.
There is such a thing as too sweet when it comes to breakfast cereal, nutrition experts say. Some popular brands aimed at youngsters have more sugar than three Chips Ahoy cookies or a Twinkie. A new report says more than half of the 84 brands tested have at least 12 grams of sugar per serving -- three teaspoons' worth, per serving.
Only one out of four cereals checked by the Environmental Working Group, a public interest center in Washington, D.C., met proposed federal guidelines for food nutritious enough to be marketed to children. These standards are aimed at reducing childhood obesity.
Obesity rates have more than doubled in he past three decades for U.S. children between 2 and 11 and more than tripled for those 12 to 19. Studies also suggest that sugar is habit-forming and that children who eat high-sugar breakfasts have more problems at school because they're more easily frustrated and have a hard time working independently.
Low-sugar cereals: Kellogg's Mini-Wheats (frosted or plain), General Mills Cheerios or Kix (both unflavored), Post Shredded Wheat or Grape-Nuts Flakes and Quaker Oats Oatmeal Squares (cinnamon).
Researcher says: "As a mom of two, I was stunned to discover just how much sugar comes in a box of children’s cereal. Most parents would never serve dessert for breakfast, but many children’s cereals have just as much sugar or more." -- Jane Houlihan, senior vice president, Environmental Working Group
Nutrition expert says: "Cereal companies have spent fortunes on convincing parents that a kid's breakfast means cereal, and that sugary cereals are fun, benign and all kids will eat. Kids should not be eating sugar for breakfast. They should be eating real food." -- Marion Nestle, author and food studies professor at New York University
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