Monday, 4 May 2009

"kelloggs Frosties, they're grrrrrrrrravely bad for your kids!"

A great piece worth a read in the guardian today about nutrition for children.

Basically the consumer group WHICH pointed out that Morrison's Choco Crackles, Kellogg's Coco Pops, Moons and Stars, Frosties and Ricicles are 37% pure sugar - indeed they contain about as much per 30g serving as a Cadbury's chocolate Flake.

Not a major surprise to us, but its also points a damning finger at the same companies for marketing this crap and then having the audacity to tell us how to help stop the growing rise of childhood obesity (without blaming themselves obviously).

This article has made me think about what the rules are regarding promoting foods as healthy and nutritious. Using cereals as an example, they promote themselves as a "nutritious" start to the day just because they contain vitamins and minerals. What about all the sugar in them?

If for breakfast I presented you with a piece of rock you would not consider it a great breakfast. Yet I could tell you it contains, magnesium, calcium, iron and other essential vitamins and minerals and whats more its low in fat!

However, despite these facts (which are true) obviously eating rock for breakfast is not going to be good for the body. So why is it OK for cereals to be promoted as healthy despite how crap they are for the body?


  1. Andy, my wife asked me to pick up some breakfast cereal for herself and my daughter a little while back. I must have stood in the cereal aisle for 10 minutes reading the contents of various "healthy starts to the day". I guess it's not possible to produce on of these treats without forcing 25-30g of sugar down my kid's throat (not really forcing). Now add in the obligatory glass of OJ with another 28g of carbs, and how about a nice slice of toast (15g carbs) with some jelly (15g)?

    I guess I'm fortunate that I can get my family to eat eggs and bacon a couple of times a week.

  2. I know and on the box it says "this only contains 12% of the recommended daily allowance of sugar". Like you say, all the rest of the carbs you eat at breakfast then add up!

  3. No WONDER I was starving by 10am!

  4. What a load of rubbish. Did you not see the programme on BBC2 the following evening? the Which report is all smoke and mirrors to make news headlines, cereal is not bad for you... not even the sugary ones. watch this:

  5. Hi Andy! Nice blog! Before going paleo I used to check out the fat in the cereals but didn't really think to check the sugar, but even Special K (marketed to help with weight loss) has 22 g carbs/29g serving.

  6. Ahhhh yes the "dont worry about sugar- worry about fat" brigade.

    The argument is that sugar is not bad for you and its good because it makes chldren get into a good habit of eating breakfast. OK so, would you be willing to give your child a chocolate bar with a multi vitamin and be happy because they are eating a breakfast and geting their vitamins? I dont think so.

    I know these people are nutritionists and we are supposed to take what they say to heart but I for one like to make up my own mind based upon scientific evidence.

    It is science fact that sugar stimulates insulin which stimulates fat storage.

    Its been known ince the 1800s that excessive carb intake (sugar) = "greater corpulance"

    All carbohydrates are broken down in the body into sugar.

    There is an incredible success rate in fat loss for people who eat low carb/low sugar high fat diets.

    I recommend you read "diet delusion" by Gary Taubes and then decide if sugar is harmless.

  7. Ah, sugar and simple carbs...aka, how to make your kids fat.

    I would recommend an article by physicist Robert McLeod, Feast and Fast: the dichotomy of insulin and growth hormone ( A bit of a read, but a fantastic explanation of the body's ability to regulate insulin and how high carbs prevent that regulation...inhibit fat loss.

    "High levels of insulin also prevent your muscles from absorbing fatty acids in the blood: the body prefers to burn the low-energy density carbohydrates first and hold onto the superior fatty acids for lean times."

    take a look, it's worth the effort

  8. Good post, Andy. There's a sort of related story in the same paper at about how hard it is to avoid all processed foods. But the author's definition of processed seems a bit random to me.