Breakfast Cereals Contain Sugar Levels as High as 35% in Spite of Manufacturers’ Claims

ecacadda-a8ad-486a-ba16-0afffec86951articleimage.jpg

08 Feb 2017 --- According to a new study by Action on Sugar and Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH) at Queen Mary University of London, published by the journal Public Health Nutrition, the salt content of popular breakfast cereals sold in the UK since 2005 has decreased by approximately 50% over the past 10 years owing to the successful salt reduction program – particularly the target-based approach to gradually reduce salt added to food. 

The Department of Health’s average salt target for breakfast cereals is <0·59 g/100 g and 53% (143/270) of products surveyed in 2015 met this target. However, despite this, cereals still remain a major contributor to salt intake. It is vital that the government revive the national salt reduction program to ensure that reductions are still made and maximum numbers of people are saved from unnecessary strokes and heart disease.

In stark contrast, sugar content in the same breakfast cereals has been steadily high since 1992 and calls have been made for food manufacturers to adapt the successful salt reduction programme by setting sugar targets for different categories of food and drink with immediate effect. This will successfully reduce sugar intake across the whole population and help to prevent obesity, type 2 diabetes and tooth decay.

This research demonstrates that the sugar content of breakfast cereals in the UK is of major concern, particularly in children’s breakfast cereals, with a typical serving (30g) containing a third of a 4–6-year-old’s maximum daily recommendation (19 g/d or 5 teaspoons of sugar) for sugar intake in the UK. 

Based on data collected in 2015, on average, ?akes with additions (0·81g) contained the most salt per 100g. Whereas crunchy nut-style (32.22g) cereals contained most sugar per 100g, examples of products currently available in supermarkets are included below. 

Click to Enlarge

Joint first author Kawther Hashem, Registered Nutritionist, for Action on Sugar at Queen Mary University of London says: “Breakfast cereals can be a healthy choice, as they contain fiber and are fortified with vitamins; however our study shows that the sugars content in breakfast cereals has been steadily high since 1992, despite the ever-increasing evidence linking sugars with dental caries, obesity and type 2 diabetes. There has been no national sugar reduction program, as there has been for salt, which is imperative if we want to see real and measurable improvements. 

“The variation in sugar content between similar products clearly demonstrates there is no technical reason whatsoever why cereals contain such high levels of sugar. Public Health England is due to announce a major national sugar reduction program, as part of the Government’s Childhood Obesity Plan,  in March 2017.  All manufacturers must support the programme and start reducing sugar now.”

Graham MacGregor, Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at Queen Mary University of London and Chairman of Consensus Action on Salt and Health says: “Manufacturers should be congratulated for making significant reductions to the salt levels, thanks to a structured salt reduction program. However further reductions are needed as cereals remain far too high in salt, and are still a major contributor to salt intake.”  

“Reducing salt is the most cost effective measure to lower blood pressure and reduce the number of people suffering from strokes and heart disease – one of the commonest causes of death in the UK.”

To contact our editorial team please email us at editorial@cnsmedia.com

Related Articles

Business News

Indian expansion: Nexira and Synthite reinforce partnership in world’s largest acacia gum market

17 Oct 2018 --- French-headquartered acacia gum world leader, Nexira and India-based spice oleoresins leader, Synthite have entered a partnership to produce acacia gum at Synthite’s manufacturing plant near Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu, southern India. This partnership augurs well for India – the world’s largest consumer of acacia gum – by offering various product references to food & beverage manufacturers, who use this gum widely for its technological and nutritional benefits.

Food Ingredients News

Greencore sells US operations to Hearthside in US$1bn plus deal

15 Oct 2018 --- Greencore Group plc has agreed to the sale of its entire US business, Greencore US, to an affiliate of Hearthside Food Solutions LLC for US$1,075 million on a cash and debt-free basis. Greencore says that following the deal, it expects to have a leading position in its core UK market, greater financial and strategic flexibility and potential for dynamic capital management. Hearthside believes the transaction marks a significant step in the further growth and development of its network.

Food Ingredients News

Chr. Hansen acquires dairy ingredient supplier Hundsbichler, raises organic growth targets

15 Oct 2018 --- Chr. Hansen is further expanding its enzyme production and presence into the traditional segments of specialty cheeses, with the newly announced acquisition of the assets of Austrian-based ingredient supplier Österreichische Laberzeugung Hundsbichler GmbH. Hundsbichler products are widely recognized for high quality and the purchase will enable Chr. Hansen to offer cheesemakers a second-to-none product portfolio in the animal rennet space, according to the company. Separately, the company announced that it had achieved all the overall financial targets set at the beginning of the year and raised its ambitions 9-11 percent organic growth for next year.

Food Ingredients News

Fattening up in weight management: Glanbia acquires SlimFast for US$350m

12 Oct 2018 --- Global nutrition group, Glanbia, is set to acquire SlimFast for US$350 million, from KSF Holdings LLP and HNS Intermediate Corporation who collectively own SlimFast and other brands. The company plans to operate SlimFast within its Performance Nutrition segment of the business which plays into global consumer trends focused on convenient formats and snacking, according to Glanbia. SlimFast is a well-established brand with high levels of awareness in the US, its largest market.

Food Ingredients News

Meat-free innovation: Valio to showcase on-trend concepts and ingredients at SIAL

10 Oct 2018 --- Finnish-based dairy company, Valio, is set to unveil their latest food innovations and tailor-made ingredients solutions – including Valio MiFU, a new, milk-based alternative to meat – at SIAL Paris, later this month. Valio is addressing key upcoming food trends and creates solutions that manufacturers globally can adapt to local market needs. Valio’s products and food ingredients satisfy the demand for high quality, high protein and lactose-free dairy.

More Articles