Sugar, Cereals and Children

Perhaps some of you will have read the comments made by Andy Burnham MP, Shadow Secretary for Health recently when he suggested that perhaps cereal manufacturers should limit the amount of sugar to 30%, in breakfast cereals marketed for children. Some of these products, for example, Cocoa Pops, contain 37% sugar, and Frosties contain 39% sugar. There are quite a few cereal products, including cereal bars, marketed as healthy which actually contain even more sugar!

However, you will see from the nutrition panel included here that it is possible to find breakfast cereal products with much lower figures for sugar, and here is the nutrition table for my own Lizi’s Original Granola, which I’m using to explain how to read any nutrition table you find on the back of a packet.

Nutrition Panel

The most important column is the first column which is usually expressed as “per 100g”. Percent means per hundred, so when the nutrition table says “per 100g” it’s the same as saying “percent”. So if sugar is 10g in the per 100g column, that akin to saying 10%. It could equally say per 100 tons, then the sugar would be 10 tons, which is still 10%. You should read the first column as percentages. The importance of this is that it doesn’t matter what the ser ving size is, 10% is still 10%. So even if you have a 30g serving of Cocoa Pops, 35% of it is still sugar. You will see from the table for my Original Granola there is 9.1g sugar per 100g, so no matter what your serving size, 40g, 60g etc the amount of sugar is still 9.1%.

It is therefore possible to have a product with just under 10% sugar which has a very acceptable level of sweetness.

I used to have difficulty with this concept until it was all explained to me by someone who is very good at maths, and was also quite patient with me until I grasped it.

However, I do think that nearly everybody needs lots of education to understand nutrition tables and what constitutes a good diet. I would like to thank Andy Burnham for raising further awareness of this subject of sugar.

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1 Comment on Sugar, Cereals and Children

  1. i bought some of the original granola from a local healthe food shop, as i was looking for something low gl and for a diabetic. must tell you how impressed i am, it really does what it says, i have given it to some of my friends, who now also buy it

    di | January 25, 2013 at 7:42 pm () ()