Low-sugar breakfast cereal leads to better eating habits in children

December 14, 2010 in Nutrition for Children and Teenagers, Nutrition Topics in the News

Low-sugar breakfast cereal leads to better eating habits in children

Study findings from researchers at Yale University are reporting that children are more likely to eat a nutritious, balanced breakfast if they are served low-sugar cereals.

To investigate, researchers studied 91 school-aged children between the ages of 5 and 12 at summer camp in New England.

Children were divided into two groups; one group had a choice of three high-sugar cereals and the other group had a choice of three low-sugar ones.

Researchers offered milk, orange juice, cut-up bananas and strawberries, and small packets of table sugar to each group.

Researchers found kids in the high-sugar group ate about two servings, nearly twice as much refined sugar, or 24.4 grams, as the children in the low-sugar group, who ate a little over one serving on average, with 12.5 grams of refined sugar.

This was true even though the kids who ate low-sugar cereals added significantly more table sugar to their bowls.

The children who ate low-sugar cereal ate similar amounts of milk and total calories, but were more likely to put fresh fruit on their cereal than the kids who ate high-sugar cereals.

In fact, researchers report that 54% of kids who ate low-sugar cereal added fresh fruit, but just 8% of those served high-sugar cereal did.

The findings were published in the journal Pediatrics.

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