March 16th, 2011
Breakfast Is Not So Gr-r-reat When Your Only Option Is Frosted Flakes
One in four children goes without breakfast each morning, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. A tragedy to be sure—but are Kellogg’s breakfast products the solution?
Last week Kellogg announced its new project called Share Your Breakfast, part of a national advertising campaign. The project asks Americans to upload their breakfast photos to the Web site shareyourbreakfast.com, and for each breakfast photo shared, Kellogg Company will donate a school breakfast to a child in need—up to $200,000 worth of (or one million) breakfasts.
Feeding hungry children sure sounds nice, but filling hungry bellies with highly-processed junk foods is hardly the answer. Let’s take a look at some of the products Kellogg is promoting as part of this endeavor.
Frosted Flakes—one of the products represented by Tony the Tiger at a National Breakfast Day event in New York last Tuesday—contains 11 grams of sugar per three-fourths cup serving. After the first ingredient of milled corn, the next three read: Sugar, malt flavoring, and high-fructose-corn-syrup—three forms of sugar by different names.
Nutri-Grain bars—a product promoted as healthy—contain more than 30 ingredients (minus the synthetic vitamins) and include high-fructose-corn syrup, artificial flavors, red #40, TBHQ, and host of other chemicals. Meanwhile, the front of the package reads: “More of the whole grains your body needs,” “Good source of fiber,” and “Made with real fruit.” The only “real fruit” I could find is “strawberry puree concentrate” and it’s listed after high-fructose-corn syrup and corn syrup. Each bar contains 11 grams of sugar and 3 grams of fiber.
Even Corn Flakes contain sugar, malt flavoring, and high-fructose-corn-syrup, listed as its second, third, and fourth ingredients. Kellogg is also offering promotions on Rice Krispies, Mini-Wheats, and Eggo Waffles—the waffles contain partially-hydrogenated oils in addition to high-fructose-corn syrup.
But Kellogg Company knows that people are concerned about feeding their kids sugar and chemicals for breakfast every morning, so it has dedicated whole sections of its Web site to “correcting” false nutrition information. In one section, Kellogg refers to sugar as the “misunderstood nutrient.” According to the Web site, “Sugar does not cause obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease or hyperactivity.” This statement flies in the face of the most recent research and a host of mainstream studies that say the exact opposite.