Kids chose less sugary breakfast cereal in Yale study

A new study conducted by Yale’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity revealed something startling about kids: they’re not as prone to choosing sugar as we may think. At least when it comes to breakfast cereals.

The study’s findings, published in Pediatrics journal, revealed that of the 91 children who participated in the study (ages 5 to 12), they were divided into to groups—half could chose from three types of sugary breakfast cereal and the other half could choose from three low-sugar cereals. Both groups were given fresh fruit access but only eight percent in the high-sugar group added fresh fruit versus 54 percent of the low-sugar group.

Both groups were also offered table sugar, and again, the low sugar group chose a healthier option, averaging less than one teaspoon of sugar per child, while nearly six teaspoons per each child was consumed in the high-sugar cereal group.

They consumed similar amounts of calories as well except the low-sugar group eating just over one serving of cereal and more fresh fruit, compared to the high-sugar group who ate nearly double the amount of cereal.

Breakfast cereal is a $10 billion a year industry, with more money spent in advertising targeted at children than any other segment—more than $300 million worth of ads putting parents in a hard place, believing largely because of the dominant ads, that their kids will eat only sugary cereal or no breakfast at all. Of the top selling children’s cereal brands, 23 rated only fair or good on nutrition, with little more than fortified whole grains, sugar and food coloring, which is being investigated by the FDA as being linked to behavior problems among children.

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