August 17th, 2011

Yale: Cereal Claims are Confusing

NBC Connecticut

The university’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity found that parents often misinterpret health claims on children’s cereals, assuming they are more nutritious than they actually are.  For example, many products use words like “whole grain,” “organic,” “supports your child’s immunity.”

Finding healthy food for you kids can be hard enough, especially when they’re reaching for their favorite sugar-filled snacks.  But a new study from Yale researchers says the packaging on some foods isn’t making things any easier.

The university’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity found that parents often misinterpret health claims on children’s cereals, assuming they are more nutritious than they actually are.  For example, many products use words like “whole grain,” “organic,” “supports your child’s immunity.”

In their study, the Yale researchers surveyed parents with children between the ages of 2 and 11 and asked them to view pictures of common children’s cereals and say whether the health-related buzzwords on the boxes might influence them to buy the products.

They found that parents often inferred sugar-laden cereals were more nutritious than some alternatives, because of the claims on the box.

The researchers said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration should step in and increase regulation to reduce confusion about nutrition claims.

You can read the entire study in this month’s edition of the academic journal Public Health Nutrition.

Read more: http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/local/Are-Cereal-Claims-Confusing-127518938.html

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