Liverpool reveals breakfast cereal sugar shock
PUBLIC Health Officials in
Liverpool are the 1st in the country to highlight the amount of sugar in
specific breakfast cereals. 'Save Kids
is the latest phase of the City's war on sugar, which began last year when
the City identified the
high number of sugar cubes in some popular drinks. Analysis shows that some cereals contain over 3.5 sugar cubes
per serving, which means a child could be having over half their maximum
daily allowance; 6 cubes; before they leave for School. When added to drinks and snacks later in the day, some
children could be having up to 20 cubes in 1 day; more than 3 times the
Over the next 3 months, Public Health Liverpool is
highlighting the issue with a digital media campaign backed up by pop ups,
posters and leaflets in:- Health Centres, Dentist Surgeries, Children's
Centres and Hospitals, identifying how many sugar cubes are in an average
serving of popular brands. Parents can log on to a new
website and calculate how much sugar their children
are consuming each day and get tips on healthier breakfasts. There will also be events at supermarkets and public
buildings to educate families, a community street fair in Walton, and the
Public Health team will also be working with School breakfast clubs on
The drive is aimed at tackling an alarming level of childhood
obesity in the City with 12% of reception School age children classed as
obese. Over 23% of year 6 children are obese, and almost 40% are overweight
or obese. Too much sugar in a child's diet can lead to obesity, tooth
decay, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some common cancers in the future Children aged between
4 and 10 years old consume
approximately 5,500 sugar cubes each year hidden in their food and drink;
more than the total body weight of an average 5 year old child.
Councillor Tim Beaumont, Mayoral lead for wellbeing, said:-
"It is a myth that breakfast cereals are a healthy choice. Some are, but
most are loaded with sugar. Families simply don't realise how much is in
them. Combined with other sugary snacks, drinks and chocolate bars, this is
contributing to an alarming level of tooth decay and obesity in children.
Dentists are having to remove teeth from children as young as five under
general anaesthetic on a weekly basis. Almost a 3rd of 5 year olds in
Liverpool have decayed, missing or filled teeth, with 2 children a day under
the age of 10 having to be admitted to Hospital to get teeth removed. This
is about getting families and young children into healthy habits which will
hopefully last a lifetime and prevent future unnecessary pain and trauma as
well as debilitating health conditions."
The Liverpool campaign breaks cereals down in to high and
medium sugar classifications and also recommends healthier options.
(between 2.4 and 3.7 sugar cubes per serving):-
Frosties, Cocopops, Coco Shreddies, Cookie Crisp and Krave
plus supermarket own brands including:- Frosted Flakes, Choco Rice and
► Medium sugar (between 1 and 2.2 sugar cubes per serving):-
Cheerios, Weetos, Shreddies, Rice Krispies
plus supermarket own brands including:- Multigrain Hoops and
► Healthier options (less than
a sugar cube per serving):-
Shredded Wheat, Wheat Shreds,
Ready Brek, Porridge Oats
or alternatives such as:- a boiled egg, scrambled egg or toast.
Director of Public Health, Dr Sandra Davies, said:-
"Tackling sugar in diets is a real priority for us because we know that
people simply don't realise how much they are consuming. If we are to stand any chance of tackling this ticking time
bomb, we must give parents as much information as possible so they can make
informed decisions. Most people don't have the time to read labels when racing
around the supermarket to complete their weekly shop and so we have to
support them to make healthier choices."
The campaign is being backed by Liverpool-based campaign
group Food Active. Alex Holt, Food and Nutrition Lead said:-
"There are surprising amounts of sugar in everyday food and drink that we
give our children and, without realising it, we all have too much sugar. Sugars
are hidden in many foods, which people are unaware of and even creep into
savoury items such as pasta sauces. Parents can make sure they limit the
amount of sugar their children eat by reading the labels to make sure they
are choosing low sugar varieties where possible. The amount of added sugar
can really add up over the day, so starting with a low sugar breakfast and
choosing water or milk for drinks, and fruit as snacks really can make a
difference. You can also offer your child a reward such as a trip to the
park, rather than a sweet treat."
The number of sugar cubes in 40g
servings of popular breakfast cereals:-
3.7 – Frosties (Kellogg's)
3.5 – Cocopops (Kellogg's)
3.5 – Crunch Nut (Kellogg's)
2.8 – Krave (Kellogg's)
2.1 - Cheerios (Nestle)
1.5 – Shreddies (Nestle)
1 – Rice Krispies (Kellogg's)
0.5 – Shredded Wheat (Nestle), Ready Brek (Weetabix Ltd) and Weetabix
Each cube = 4g of sugar...
Keep sugary drinks, snacks and treats to mealtime and have only occasionally.
Encourage your child to drink only water and milk between meals.
Always check labels for sugar content.
Get your child to brush their teeth twice a day.
Take your child to the dentist at least from the age of 1.