ATLANTA (CBS Atlanta) – According to a new report, children’s breakfast cereal has as much sugar as cookies.
The report by the Environmental Working Group says that if a child eats a bowl of kid’s cereal every day for a year that is the equivalent of consuming 10 pounds of sugar.
“Breakfast cereals are the single greatest source of added sugars in the diets of children under the age of eight, Dawn Undurraga, nutritionist and EWG consultant, and co-author of the report, told CBS News.
The researchers looked at 181 cereals that are marketed toward children. They found that 34 percent of the calories in children’s cereal comes from sugar. For two-thirds of the cereals, a single serving contains a third of the sugar a child should consume in a day. For 40 cereals, a single serving contains over 60 percent of the daily amount of sugar, according to researchers.
Researchers found that a serving size of cereal is an “unrealistically small amount in most cases.” They say that many children will eat more than the suggested serving size in one sitting.
“The report rightly raises substantial concerns about added sugar and potential associated risks of obesity, which remains epidemic in the US children and costly to society,” Dr. Leonardo Trasande, an associate professor at the Department of Population Health at NYU Langone Medical Center, said in an email to CBS News.
The cereal that contained the least amount of sugar was Kellogg’s Rice Krispies at 3 percent. The least amount of sugar for a store-brand was Springfield Corn Flakes at 7 percent.
The group says eating unsweetened whole-grain hot cereals with fruit on top is healthier.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years.
“In general, families should take greater car to reduce the intake of all sugar-sweetened beverages and foods, and eat a diverse diet,” Dr. Trasande said.