Breakfast "Candy" Is Over 50 Percent Sugar
Green Safe Food spokesperson Sue Kedgley says newly introduced nutrition labelling reveals that many school children may be eating up to 13 dessertspoons of sugar before lunch every day.
Ms Kedgley said a member of her staff has surveyed (see attached) the sugar content of popular breakfast cereals, muesli bars and drinks, using new nutrition panel information which requires manufacturers to disclose the amount of sugar, fibre, salt etc in processed food.
"A child who eats a bowl of cocoa snaps for breakfast, and then has two small muesli bars and a bottle of Powerade for a snack would be consuming 107 grams of sugar - nearly 13 dessertspoons full!
"Then many children eat sweet snacks like biscuits, sweets, ice-cream or dessert on top of that."
Ms Kedgley said a high consumption of sugar was contributing to a dental crisis in children, and fuelling the epidemic of obesity and diabetes in our society, particularly amongst children.
"Our survey shows that three popular brands of cereals are more than half sugar by weight, 18 are more than a quarter sugar by weight, and 14 breakfast cereals contain less than 5 percent fibre," she said. "They should be called breakfast candy, not breakfast cereal."
"I'm putting this information out in the hope that it will motivate parents to check the nutrition panel of cereals and snacks before they make purchases.
"While there is nothing wrong with a sweet treat occasionally, we don't want to bring our kids up to be a nation of sugar-freaks.
"Children develop taste preferences at a young age and can easily become addicted to food that is high in sugar, fat and salt," Ms Kedgley said.
"This is a serious public health issue, as experts warn that bad food habits set at an early age can literally condemn a child to a lifetime of ill health."