August 20th, 2008

Breakfast of a champion? Frosted Flakes! Phelps signs with cereal

By Richa Schapiro
New York Daily News

You better eat your . . . Frosted Flakes?

Olympic legend Michael Phelps will appear on boxes of the Kellogg’s brand sugar cereal, drawing sharp criticism from health experts worried about the message he’ll be sending to children across America.

“I would not consider Frosted Flakes the food of an Olympian,” said nutritionist Rebecca Solomon of Mount Sinai Medical Center.

“I would rather see him promoting Fiber One. I would rather see him promoting oatmeal. I would even rather see him promoting Cheerios.”

The announcement yesterday that Phelps, 23, winner of a record eight gold medals at the Beijing Olympics, would grace Frosted Flakes and Corn Flakes boxes instead of the traditional athlete’s choice of Wheaties left many perplexed.

Frosted Flakes has three times the amount of sugar as Wheaties and 1/3rd the fiber.

This doesn’t matter much to a virtuoso swimmer who consumes 12,000 calories a day.

Still, in a country where childhood obesity is an alarming issue, Phelps’ iconic image sharing space with Tony the Tiger sends the wrong message, experts say.

“For a guy like Michael Phelps who isn’t worried about obesity because he’s burning thousands of calories as an athlete...eating Corn Flakes and Frosted Flakes every so often is not an issue,” Solomon said.

The Phelps-emblazoned cereal boxes hit supermarket shelves in mid-September.

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