A spoonful of sugar for every three spoonfuls of cereal is not what you want your kids to find in their cereal box.
But that's how much sugar is contained in popular cereals such as Lucky Charms or Frosted Flakes. The cereals most marketed to kids are also the ones that serve up the most sugar, according to a new report from the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity.
Most of the companies that market unhealthy cereals also have much healthier cereals in their product lines — and we should encourage them to promote those to kids instead!
Why, then, do you market your least-healthy cereals to kids instead of the ones that are actually good for them?
Research shows that the cereals most frequently advertised to kids -- through television, websites and even advergames -- are far less healthy than those marketed to adults. These products contain 56 percent more sugar, half as much fiber and 50 percent more sodium.
Kids can't escape these ads, either. In 2011, there were almost 2 billion banner ads for cereals on kids' websites, and children saw on average almost 600 TV commercials promoting the least-nutritious cereals. And that doesn't include the characters found on cereal boxes. Even children as young as 2 years old saw these ads more than once a day, although they are too young to understand what advertising is.
Parents are constantly challenged to encourage children to eat a healthy, balanced diet. On behalf of parents who struggle with this every day, I am asking you to help by advertising only your healthy cereals to kids.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Please make it a healthy one for children everywhere by promoting the products that are good for them.