Sure, I don’t think anyone with a brain was deluding themselves that Fruit Loops are good for you. But the issue is very pervasive: an analysis by CHOICE of the 41 cereals marketed at kids in Australia found that 30 of them were high in sugar, and virtually all were low in fibre.
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Of the 195 breakfast cereals CHOICE analysed overall, it said only 36 of them were nutritionally worthwhile. Four were singled out for special mention: Abundant Earth Puffed Corn, Uncle Tobys Shredded Wheat, Healtheries Pufferbillies and Sanitarium Weet-Bix for kids. (The review didn’t include muesli, which CHOICE considers as a separate category).
Aside from high sugar and low fibre, many cereals have high sodium levels. Even those which have recently seen those levels reduced (such as Cornflakes) still have very high levels. The lesson? You can have a healthy breakfast with cereal, but you need to check the nutritional details carefully.