Cereal Ads Are Misleading

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Kids cereals are more nutritious than a few years ago, but there are more ads for the least nutritious products, according to a report.

Yales’s Rudd center for Food Policy & Obesity said food companies spent 34 percent more in 2011 ($264 million) than in 2008 to promote cereal targeted for children. And none of the healthiest brands makes advertising to children a priority, said Kelly Brownell, director of the Budd Center.

Cereals from major companies such as Post, Kellogg and General Mills range from “very junky to very good”, Brownell said. If the companies are going to be responsible citizens they need to market the healthier cereals to the children and they are doing the opposite.

The food industry established the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising in 2006 and the Rudd Center issued its first Cereal Facts report in 2009 to asses its impact. In the follow-up the researchers looked at more than 100 cereal brands and industry advertising on TV, the internet and social media sites.

“Children still get one spoonful of sugar in every three spoonfuls of cereal. These products are not nutritious options that children should consume every day” said lead researcher Jenifer Harris.

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