According to a report by the Environmental Working Group, some children's cereal—like Kellogg’s Honey Smacks, Post Golden Crisp, and General Mills Wheaties Fuel—contain more sugar than a Hostess Twinkie.
Credit: Tim Boyle

The next time you reach for your favorite brand of kid's cereal, remember that you could just be downing packs of sugar instead and the amount of nutrition would be the same.

According to a report called "Sugar in Children's Cereals: Popular brands pack more sugar than snack, cakes, and cookies," by the Environmental Working Group, some cereal brands for children contain just as much sugar as junk food.

"Kellogg’s Honey Smacks, Post Golden Crisp and General Mills Wheaties Fuel rank as the worst offenders based on the Twinkie measure," reported The Washington Post. Forty-four other cereals, which include Honey Nut Cheerios, Apple Jacks, and Cap’n Crunch, contain more sugar than three Chips Ahoy cookies.

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The study states that most of these cereals do not meet the federal government's guidelines for foods nutritious enough to be marketed to children. Aside from sugar, the products also contain too much sodium or fat, or not enough whole grain:

"The bottom line: Most parents say no to dessert for breakfast, but many children’s cereals have just as much sugar as a dessert–or more. Simple-to-prepare, healthy breakfasts for children can include fresh fruit and high-fiber, lower-sugar cereals. Better yet, pair that fruit with homemade oatmeal." 

CBS News reported that on Kellogg's nutrition website, the company says people should select cereals that are high in nutrients and contain fiber, vitamins and minerals. They claim that many sugared cereals are "fortified" with this and that "a breakfast that includes pre-sweetened cereal is a great vehicle to get some nutrient-rich milk and fruit into your child's tummy, too!"

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