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General Mills Cutting Sugar On Some Cereals

Posted by Jane Akre
Thursday, December 10, 2009 10:32 AM EST
Category: Protecting Your Family
Tags: Childhood Obesity, Sugar Consumption, General Mills, Fruit Loops, FDA

Lucky Charms, Cocoa Puffs, Trix will all have less sugar General Mills announced.

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IMAGE SOURCE: General Mills Web site

Lucky Charms, Trix, Cocoa Puffs – all cereals marketed and made by General Mills. Now they will all contain less sugar.

The company announced a plan Wednesday to cut sugar in 10 of its cereals to single-digit grams of sugar per serving, reports AP. A timeline was not provided.

Cocoa Puffs contains 18 percent sugar at 11 grams per serving.

"This is a significant development across some of our biggest and longest-term brands," said Jeff Harmening, president of the company's Big G cereal division.

"The reduction ... doesn't represent perfection but it represents improvement," said Kelly Brownell, director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University to AP.

General Mills may be trying to catch up with Kellogg, which reformulated a number of cereals last year. Fruit Loops, Apple Jacks and Corn Pops decreased in sugar by one to three grams per serving, while Kellogg added fiber to some cereals.

Post Foods has cut sugar in Fruity Pebbles and Cocoa Pebbles by 20 percent while increasing the vitamin D in Pebbles and Honeycomb cereals this year.

Why the sudden turnabout?

Brownell says the cereal companies have been under increasing pressure to address childhood obesity and excess sugar. The Food and Drug Administration has been coming down hard on misleading advertising that touts health benefits. One organization even called sugary cereal such as Fruit Loops as a “Smart Choice” because of health benefits.

What remain unchanged are cereals such as Franken Berry and Boo Berry which once had 15 grams of sugar, now reduced to 12 grams. These are not cereals included because they don’t advertise on TV shows, reports General Mills.

The Rudd Center reports that the least healthy cereals are most frequently marketed directly to children. Six of the 10 least healthy cereals were made by General Mills. Children consuming excessively sweet cereals tend to eat twice as much as those eating low-sugar cereals.

Cheerios already meets the goal of one grams of sugar per serving but received a warning from the Food and Drug Administration earlier this year for making claims that it lowers cholesterol and reduces the risk of heart disease and cancer.

The agency said that label went beyond what the science supports. #


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