Most Sugary Cereals Report Should Only Shock Uninformed Parents

Fruit LoopsToday the Environmental Working Group (EWG) released a report that has parents and cereal lovers everywhere freaking out. In it they rounded up a whole list of the sugariest sugar cereals and showed how many of them have more sugar than desserts. Kellogg's Honey Smacks have more sugar than a Twinkie, OMG! While it's not a pretty picture for sure, what I want to know is: Why everyone is acting so surprised?

Did you really think Apple Jacks or Froot Loops were the makings of a healthy breakfast? Did any parent truly pour them into their child's bowl and think they were giving them a good start to their day? The nutritional information is right there on the box, and as parents, none of this should be a surprise. We should know what we're feeding our children.

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This study, as far as I can tell, didn't uncover any big cover-up by the cereal manufacturers; no one is saying they lied about the amount of sugar. All the numbers are right there on the box; the EWG just crunched the numbers and illustrated them in a very graphic way. Anyone who is surprised has just been sticking their head in the sand Cap'n Crunch.

Now, some of the cereals aren't meeting proposed voluntary government guidelines for how much sugar should be in cereals marketed to children, nor do they contain enough whole grains to meet them. But those are voluntary guidelines. It would be nice if they met them, but it would also be nice if no one produced SpongeBob SquarePants.

Admittedly, it's pretty awful to think that something that's marketed as a breakfast food contains more sugar than cookies. But that's why the only boxes of sugared cereal I've ever purchased for my children have been on their birthdays. They get one box a year, because I've long known how much sugar lies therein.

If you choose to give your children sugar cereal, that's fine; I'm not judging. Maybe they don't get dessert after dinner most nights like mine do; maybe you cut sugar out elsewhere; or maybe you just don't care (I might judge you a little for that one, however). They're choices each of us has to make, but that's what they are -- choices. And when making choices for our families, it's up to us to know what we're choosing.

So yes, I'm outraged by the amount of sugar in cereals, but there's a pretty simple way to overcome that problem -- buy something else. It's a free market. The business of cereal companies is to try to make money by selling us stuff, and it's our business to be smart enough not to buy it just because they say we should or because our kids pester us to.

Are you surprised to learn how much sugar is in cereal? Do you think it's crazy that anyone is shocked about it?


Image via meddygarnet/Flickr

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