“Ready-to-eat cereals are the fourth biggest source of added sugars in
Americans’ diets, behind sugary drinks, desserts, and candy,” opine Center for
Science in the Public Interest Director of Nutrition Policy Margo Wootan and
New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center Director David Ludwig
in this article, disputing claims that children who eat sugary cereals for
breakfast are less likely to be overweight than those who do not eat breakfast
at all. According to Wootan and Ludwig, the research supporting such claims
“cannot prove cause and effect, and most have been funded or conducted
by the industry.” They argue instead that manufacturers should market their
lower-sugar offerings to children as well as adults, citing studies conducted
by Yale University’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity that show such
products “are well accepted by children” even though cereals targeted to
youth typically “contain 85 percent more sugars and 65 percent less fiber than
cereals marketed to adults.”

Although Wootan and Ludwig praise current industry efforts to reduce the
sugar content of some cereal products, they ultimately urge food companies
to drop their alleged opposition to voluntary government guidelines that
would affect how cereals are marketed to children. “The fate of those voluntary
marketing recommendations is at risk,” conclude the authors. “Cereal and
other food and entertainment companies convinced Congress to include a
provision in the Federal Trade Commission’s FY2012 spending bill to block
agencies’ efforts, unless they jump through hoops that usually apply only to
mandatory requirements, such as cost-benefit analysis… Instead of lobbying
to keep marketing breakfast candy to kids, cereal and other companies should
work with the Obama administration on sensible food marketing guidelines
for children.”

About The Author

For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.