A new survey conducted by World Action on Salt and Health (WASH) has revealed a ‘shocking’ difference in levels of salt and sugar found in comparative branded breakfast cereals around the world.
The research found that over half of cereals (58%) contained high levels of sugar (over 22.5g/100g) – representing nearly six teaspoons of sugar per 100g.
The survey selected 19 products manufactured by Kellogg’s and Nestle/General Mills from 29 countries for comparison.
It found that 55% of the cereals surveyed contained half the daily recommended intake of free sugars of a 3 year old (15g/day) in one serving.
Both manufacturers had cereals which contained high levels of salt and sugar, with Kellogg’s cereals featuring in the top five most sugary and saltiest cereals surveyed.
Top 5 cereals with the highest sugar:
Top 5 cereals with the lowest sugar:
The survey also revealed a variation in salt and sugar contents of the same breakfast cereal sold in different countries.
Kellogg’s Honey Smacks in Mexico (57g per 100g) had 25% more sugar than the same cereal in Belgium, Spain, Morocco, Norway, Qatar, Kuwait and UAE (43g/100g).
Kellogg’s Cornflakes sold in India which contained the highest level of salt (1.93g/100g) had 46% more salt than the same product in Argentina and Brazil (1.04g/100g), WASH said.
Top 5 cereals brands with the highest salt content include:
WASH called for all food manufacturers to universally reduce the salt and sugar content of their products to help achieve the global WHO maximum target of 5g salt per adult per day and 25g free sugars per day.
Top 5 cereals with the lowest salt content were:
Professor Graham MacGregor, Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at Queen Mary University of London and Chairman of WASH said: “It is shocking that breakfast cereals still contain extremely high levels of salt and sugar. Kellogg’s and Nestle are the two main global manufacturers of breakfast cereal and they need to demonstrate that they can act in their customers’ interest to reduce sugar and salt levels to help save lives”.
Find the full survey here
In 2015, BusinessTech provided a breakdown of the sugar content in breakfast cereals commonly found on the shelves of country’s major retailers.
The cereals listed below were ranked according to their sugar content, which is used as the basis to determine the least healthy option.
The research was excluded All-bran and High-fibre bran as it focused on cereals specifically marketed to the youth.
All measures were based on 100 grams of cereal, excluding milk and added sugar.
|Cereal||Energy (kJ)||Fat (g)||Sodium (mg)||Carbohydrates (g)||Of which is sugar (g)|
|Kellogg’s Coco Pops||1525||1.5||699||83||36.0|
|Kellogg’s Strawberry Pops||1485||0.9||722||82||33.0|
|Bokomo Choco Scoops||1465||1.4||312||75||31.8|
|Nestlé Bar One||1683||5.7||162||75||30.0|
|Kellogg’s Coco Pops Crunchers||1612||2.5||310||78||29.0|
|Bokomo Choc Bitz||1813||17.1||166||60||27.0|
|Bokomo Frosted Flakes||1502||0.6||720||81||24.9|
|Bokomo Honey Crunchies||1398||1.2||3||69||23.7|
|Jungle Oatso Easy||1640||9.0||393||62||14.0|
|Kellogg’s Corn Flakes||1351||1.0||623||70||8.0|
|Kellogg’s Rice Krispies||467||1.5||650||25||2.0|
Kellogg’s Rice Krispies came out at the top in the findings, with a mere 2 grams of sugar per 100 grams of cereal. However, this cereal is commonly eaten with added sugar to taste, which is not included in the tally.
This is common trend among cereals which one usually adds sugar to (such as Corn Flakes and Jungle Oatso Easy).
Coco the Monkey packed the most sugar with 36 grams per 100 grams of cereal.
The recommended portion size for a cereal breakfast is 30g, thus more than a third (11g) of a single portion of Coco Pops is sugar.
Close behind the chocolate rice pops was Strawberry pops carrying 33 grams of sugar per 100 grams, with Bokomo’s Choco ranking third with 31.8 grams of sugar.