Study shows traditional breakfast better than branded cereals

Eating traditional foods like poha,idli and khakhra in breakfast is good for health,according to a recent finding by the Consumer Education and Research Society (CERS).

Written by Express News Service | Ahmedabad | Published:January 19, 2009 12:29 am

Eating traditional foods like poha,idli and khakhra in breakfast is good for health,according to a recent finding by the Consumer Education and Research Society (CERS).

The consumer rights organisation has recommended this in the light of its in-house laboratory test of three brands (10 variants) of breakfast cereals.

The study was part of the international ‘Junk Food Generation’ campaign launched by the Consumers International (CI),London,a global federation of consumer organisations,against the marketing of unhealthy food to children.

In the November-December issue of its magazine Insight,CERS said that all three brands were found to be having high content of sugar.

The study covered eight variants of Kellogg’s — Corn Flakes with Real Banana,Mango,Strawberry and Honey; Chocos,Chocos Smacks,Froot Loops,Frosties — and one variant each of Bagrry’s So Healthy muesli and Good Earth classic muesli.

According to the European Regulation on Health and Nutritional Claims (ERHNC),sugar content higher than 12.5 gm per 100 gm is ‘high’,and all the 10 variants were found to be exceptionally ‘high’ in sugar. Not a single product printed the sugar content (in percentage or gm) on its pack.

Interestingly,all the products claimed to be ‘no cholesterol’,’cholesterol-free’,and ‘zero cholesterol’,said a CERS release,adding that such claims mislead consumers.

Further,none of the brands used the ‘traffic lights’ labelling method that shows one at a glance if the food he/she is thinking to buy has high,medium or low amounts of fat,saturated fat,sugars and salt.

The study was aimed to check the content of fat,sugar and salt in breakfast cereals that are marketed to children,analyse the labels and check how breakfast cereals are marketed to children around the world.

CI campaign Junk Food Generation is a worldwide campaign calling for the World Health Organisation to produce an international code on the marketing of food to children.

Its demands include:

Radio or TV advertisement promoting unhealthy food should be banned between 6 pm and 9 pm. There should be no promotion of unhealthy foods in schools and there should be no inclusion of free gifts,toys or collectibles to promote unhealthy foods,besides banning use of celebrities,cartoon characters and competitions.

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