froot loops necklaceHey grownups, we all know how much you love the kids' cereals. And you know we could all stand to cut some sugar out of our diets. There's something I need to show you. It's going to hurt -- I'll warn you. Put the spoon down. Step away from the smiling tiger on the cereal box.

If you're eating cereal with cartoon characters for breakfast, you might as well be starting the day off with a Twinkie. Environmental Working Group has just released a study looking at the amount of sugar in kids' breakfast cereals and the results are shocking -- not just for kids, but for adults, too. A lot of those cereals have more sugar than cookies!

The study looked at the sugar content in 84 popular brands of cereal and found that 56 of them contain more than 25 to 26 percent sugar by weight. Take a look at how one serving of these cereals compares with one serving of these sugary treats.

  • Kellogg's Honey Smacks: 20 grams sugar vs. Twinkie: 18 grams sugar
  • Honey Nut Cheerios 12 grams sugar vs. Oreos: 9 grams sugar

And did you know -- one batch of 30 home-baked sugar cookies have a cup of sugar while Post Golden Crisp cereal has more than one cup of sugar in a 15-serving box. The study isn't singling out Honey Smacks and Cheerios, either. They have a whole list of super-sugary cereals you should see (if you dare!).

You may be thinking. "Oh, but those cereals also have breakfasty stuff that's good for me and worth the sugar." You wish! I mean, sorry. Looks like at least 26 of the cereals surveyed are "not predominantly whole grain." Not to mention 7 of them have more than 7 grams of saturated fat and 10 of them have more than 210 milligrams of sodium.

 And think about this statement from the study:

Studies suggest that children who eat high-sugar breakfasts have more problems at school. They become more frustrated and have a harder time working independently than kids who eat lower-sugar breakfasts. By lunchtime they have less energy, are hungrier, show attention deficits, and make more mistakes on their work.

DOES THIS SOUND LIKE YOUR DAY AT THE OFFICE? It's not just because your job is boring. Don't YOU deserve to have an energetic, productive day, too? The researchers suggest starting the day with a high-fiber, low-sugar food and even recommend some "best" cereals (yeah, okay, they're all twiggy cereals from the health food store) along with some more popular-brand cereals they deem "good." Strangely, there is no mention of bacon for breakfast.

Do you eat sugary kids' cereals for breakfast? Are you surprised to find out how much sugar is in them?

 

Image via Mykel Roventine/Flickr