Would you like some cereal with that sugar?

February 12, 2013

By Leah Thomson

Walking down the aisles of your neighborhood grocery store, one might notice all of the colorful, child-friendly boxes of cereal that advertise free toys or fun puzzles to solve. Next to them, one may find less exciting boxes that are labeled with “whole grains” or “a great source of fiber” — but those are boring, right?

Compared to the always appealing Froot Loops, Apple Jacks, Cocoa Puffs and many more, most people — children and teenagers especially — do not take the time to think of the consequences that may follow their sugar rush.

Breakfast is meant to be a nutritious meal to start one’s day off on the right foot. But what use is it when the cereal that you eat is literally just a spoon full of sugar? Sure, these sugary cereals may look more appetizing, but studies have shown that eating a bowl of commercial cereal is the equivalent of eating candy for breakfast. That cannot be healthy.

According to the American Heart Association, the recommended limit of sugar consumption in one day for teenaged females is 20 grams, and for teenaged males it is 33 grams. There are cereals that have at least 10 grams of sugar in just one serving of a half-cup. Starting the day off with that much sugar in your system continuously can surely lead to problems further down the road, such as diabetes and obesity.

Just like any other sweets, consumption should be limited to an occasional treat, not an everyday meal. Healthier options include Cheerios, Kellogg’s Unfrosted Bite-Sized Mini Wheats and Kashi 7 Whole Grain Puffs. More information can be found at cerealfacts.org, a website created by the Yale University Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity.


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