WTAP @ 5 To Your Health Report: Sugary Cereal

By: Ninette Sosa
By: Ninette Sosa

Move over tigers and leprechauns, breakfast cereal doesn't necessarily have to be sweet for kids to eat it.

A new study done by Yale University researchers found that many children enjoyed low sugar cereals, and ate a better breakfast when they didn't eat the sugary alternatives.

Here's Ninette Sosa with today's Health Minute.

For many youngsters, cereal is a breakfast staple. Yet a lot of cereals are loaded with sugar to make them more appealing to children. But is that necessary?

In a study published in "Pediatrics," scientists found when kids were served low-sugar cereal, they enjoyed it and were more likely to eat a balanced breakfast.

Researchers measured what 91 children at summer day camp ate for breakfast. The campers were divided into groups, and offered either high-sugar or low-sugar cereals, along with milk, orange juice, cut-up fruit and sugar packets. Children served themselves, and then filled out questionnaires.

Although both groups said they liked the taste of their cereals, children who ate the high sugar products ate larger portions of cereal, consuming almost twice as much refined sugar as the youngsters who were in the low-sugar group - even when the low-sugar kids added their own table sugar.

Children who ate low-sugar cereal, such as toasted oats and rice puffs, consumed less cereal and were more likely to add fruit in their bowls.

Study authors concluded that parents should offer their kids healthy cereal alternatives and to make them more appealing by adding a small amount of table sugar or fresh fruit. The Yale investigators say will eat low-sugar cereals when offered, and get a healthier breakfast.

For Today's Health Minute, I'm Ninette Sosa.

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