Monday, November 2, 2009

More on Fruit Loops

I just noticed that they're not even called Fruit Loops. It's Froot Loops. That's very appropriate, since I highly doubt they actually contain any fruit.

Anyway, some people at Yale just did a comprehensive nutritional study on breakfast cereal. They compared the nutritional value of our breakfast cereal to a UK rating system. Their findings are pretty sad but, of course, not at all surprising.

Some highlighted points for those who don't feel like reading through all the results:
  • Child cereals contain 85% more sugar, 65% less fiber and 60% more sodium when compared to adult cereals. In fact, not one cereal that is marketed directly to children in the United States would be allowed to advertise to children on television in the United Kingdom (only cereals with an NPI of over 62 can market to kids in the UK; the vast majority of US child cereals rate under 50)...In addition, 42% contain potentially harmful artificial food dyes.
  • Although General Mills and Kellogg have pledged that they will not advertise to preschoolers directly, the average 2- to 5-year-old viewed more than 500 television ads for child cereals in 2008, and 89% of them were from General Mills and Kellogg.
  • Froot Loops scored lowest (under 40) on the rating system; kids would be better off eating Cocoa Crispies, Cookie Crunch, Cocoa Puffs, or Cap'n Crunch. 
If Froot Loops, with the lowest rating, are a "Smart Choice," what isn't? Coffee and cigarettes? (Though I'd honestly probably have that for breakfast before Froot Loops...but I really like coffee. And at least I'd know that my breakfast was not a smart choice. I mean, fine, eat your junk food, but at least acknowledge that it's junk.)

PS I know I keep ragging hardcore on the Froot Loops and other processed foods. But I really hate that stuff. I mean, to me it resembles flavored cardboard much more closely than anything I would actually want to consume. Plus the names ("Cocoa Crispies?") and the Smart Choices system and the hundreds of ads just make me think of Brave New World. It's total brainwashing and it weirds me out and makes me kind of depressed every time I see TV commercials. Anyways, please excuse my ranting. 


  1. I considered children's cereal to be like, a dessert or a treat. If I'm craving something sweet, every once in a while I'll have a cup of Cinnoman Toast Crunch. My point? It's not something I'd eat every morning for my most important meal of the day.

    Nonetheless, I attended a student council conference once in high school where the motivational speaker there said he'd lost a lot of weight in college. After his presentation, I asked him how he did it. He said all he ever ate was cereal. I asked him what kind. All kinds, any kinds, he said.

    I mean they're not good for you, but they are lower in calories than a lot of other snacks. That's why I'll eat them for dessert sometimes.

  2. That makes sense. Cinnamon Toast Crunch is pretty tasty. I can never bring myself to skimp on dessert :-) I usually just eat a Lindor Truffle. Mmmmm.
    Also, I feel compelled to say that eating nothing but cereal is sooo unhealthy. My goodness.

  3. I agree. That's what I hated about people that followed the Special K diet. For the longest time Special K completed neglected the fact that protein is crucial for weightloss. Eventually they started coming out with Special K with protein and Special K protein water, but for the longest time it was like, okay have two meals that consist just of carbs.

    Oh, I should say that I don't eat milk in my cereal. If you do, you get a little bit of protein. That is all.