Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Breakfast Cereals Are An Easy Sell

Breakfast cereals are also a major contributor to the prevalence of diabetes and heart disease in this country.

Draw your attention to the blue-box display that's featured prominently at the end of the aisle in the bottom photograph in my previous post. (See photo at right. Click to enlarge.)
Here, let me zoom in:

Now, recall what Sans Fromage said in comments:
"How many ways can you spell crap? I’ve looked at the ingredients for most breakfast cereals and even the most basic contain vast amounts of preservatives and sugars. Why are Americans fat? Look no further. Unfortunately cereals are so convenient and ubiquitous that convincing people that they are crap is a hard sell."
Now, have a look at the ingredient list for these boxes of Quisp cereal:
Ingredients: corn flour, sugar, oat flour, brown sugar, coconut oil, salt, niacinamide*, reduced iron, zinc oxide, yellow 5, yellow 6, thiamin mononitrate*, pyridoxine hydrochoride*, BHT (a preservative), riboflavin*, folic acid*.
* one of the B vitamins

Why is There BHT in a Child's Breakfast Cereal?

According to Wikipedia, "[BHT] has been banned for use in food in Japan (1958), Romania, Sweden, and Australia. The US has barred it from infant foods." This is because some studies have shown it to be carcinogenic. The NIH says that BHA, a close chemical relative to BHT, "is reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen." The state of California lists BHT's cousin, BHA, as a "Chemical Known to the State to Cause Cancer". Even the World Health Organization says "There is sufficient evidence for the carcinogenicity of butylated hydroxyanisole [BHA] to experimental animals."

Just a Bowlful of Sugar

Aside from the controversy surrounding the inclusion of a possibly carcinogenic compound, one serving (1 cup) of Quisp cereal supplies a whopping 12 grams of sugar, 23 grams of carbohydrate, resulting in a fairly high glycemic load of 16.1 When you consider that "The long-term consumption of a diet with a relatively high GL is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease.", is it any wonder we're seeing a spike in these conditions in this country, especially among our children?

Why is Quaker Oats marketing, to use Sans Fromage's term, crap, to children? When I walked by this display, a young girl, maybe 5 or 6, picked up a box (notice how low to the ground the display is) and begged her mother to buy it. The mother conceded.
1 It isn't just sugar in a food that causes a high glycemic load (GL). Cheerios has only 1 gram of sugar per 1 cup serving, yet its GL is still a relatively high 13. That's owing to the highly refined state of its carbohydrates.
These figures were provided by the site It's worth a visit!

Photos: Homegrown

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Worst part with these type of boxed cereal is the fact they're EXTRUDED! That's actually what makes them crap. Now, to to top it off, manufacturers then add different varieties of crap. End result is crap mixed with more crap is always CRAP!

Cheers to all.