Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Look Closely at Calories, Sugar in Children's Cereal

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Look Closely at Calories, Sugar in Children's Cereal

Article excerpt

Byline: Zorba Paster

Who said, "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day"? I suspect W.K. Kellogg was behind that one. And back in the late 1800s when he founded his cereal company, he was right on.

We need food in our stomach to "break the fast" from dinner the night before. Of course, in modern times, that fast might not be 12 hours as was typically the case back in the day. It's maybe more like eight hours between that bowl of ice cream you snacked on just before you said nighty-night to when you woke up the following morning.

Back to breakfast. Kids need it for sure. Study after study shows that when kids have food in their stomach they learn better. That research prompted the "breakfast at school" movement we have today. A fine idea.

So sticking with the cereal theme, let's look at what they contain for our kids and for us. An article in USA Today (my "I'm bored in the hotel lobby and there's nothing else to read" paper) highlighted a report from the Environmental Working Group stating that we're over-fortifying our cereals.

The report claimed our kids are getting too much zinc and niacin, Vitamin A and more. The group demanded that the Food and Drug Administration take action to stop this abomination they said is destroying our children's health.

So I did what any red-blooded American would do in this day and age: I Googled the Environmental Working Group. The website was quite nice. What it advocates for is a cleaner, better environment, also quite nice.

But when I looked to see what was behind their demands of the FDA (i.e., the science), I didn't find anything. The group implied that many of our children are suffering and we don't know it. Hmmm.

There is such a thing as too much Vitamin A, a vitamin found in fortified cereals. But it's not a problem that's cropping up at all. …

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