Posts Tagged ‘ American Heart Association ’

Study Reveals 12 Cereals that Contain More than 50 Percent Sugar

Friday, May 16th, 2014

The cereal aisle is often the site of parent-child debates over colorful, sugar-laden brands.  But parents may be surprised to learn that “sugary” doesn’t really describe a number of options–the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has analyzed more than 1,500 breakfast cereals and identified a dozen that contain more than 50 percent sugar by weight.  Children’s cereals contain the highest percentage of sugar as a group–34 percent–and many of the worst offenders are actually store brands, the group found.  EWG also estimates that American kids will consume 10 pounds of sugar each year at the breakfast table.

Here is the EWG’s “Hall of Shame” list of the worst offenders. A single serving of these cereals represents at least half of the American Heart Association’s recommended daily sugar limit for kids:

National Brands

  • Kellogg’s Honey Smacks (56% sugar by weight)
  • Malt-O-Meal Golden Puffs (56%)
  • Mom’s Best Cereals Honey-Ful Wheat (56%)
  • Malt-O-Meal Berry Colossal Crunch with Marshmallows (53%)
  • Post Golden Crisp (52%)
  • Grace Instant Green Banana Porridge (51%)
  • Blanchard & Blanchard Granola (51%)

Store Brands

  • Lieber’s Cocoa Frosted Flakes (88%)
  • Lieber’s Honey Ringee Os (67%)
  • Food Lion Sugar Frosted Wheat Puffs (56%)
  • Krasdale Fruity Circles (53%)
  • Safeway Kitchens Silly Circles (53%)

Running just behind the top 12 are Apple Jacks with Marshmallows (50%), and Froot Loops with Marshmallows (48%), both of which are produced by Kellogg’s.

For less sugary options, the EWG identifed these 10 brands as having the least amount of sugar per serving:

National Brands

  • Kellogg’s Rice Krispies, Gluten-Free (1g)
  • General Mills Cheerios (1g)
  • Post 123 Sesame Street, C Is For Cereal (1g)
  • Kellogg’s Corn Flakes (3g)
  • Kellogg’s Rice Krispies (4g)
  • Kellogg’s Crispix Cereal (4g)

Store Brands

  • Springfield Corn Flakes Cereal (2g)
  • Valu Time Crisp Rice Cereal (3g)
  • Roundy’s Crispy Rice (4g)
  • Shop Rite Scrunchy Crispy Rice (4g)

The EWG recommends that parents read the Nutrition Facts labels carefully and choose cereals with the lowest sugar content. “Look for cereals that are low-sugar [no more than a teaspoon (4 grams) per serving] or moderately sweetened [less than 1½ teaspoons (6 grams) per serving],” the report recommends.  Better yet, it suggests, prepare breakfast from scratch, using whole grains like quick-cooking oatmeal and real fruits like bananas.

Earlier this week, Kellogg Co announced plans to drop “All Natural” and “100 Percent Natural” labels from some of its Kashi and Bear Naked products in response to a lawsuit that alleged fraudulent use of those terms.

Click here for more healthy breakfasts on-the-go inspiration!

Healthy Breakfast: 3 Quick Meals for Kids
Healthy Breakfast: 3 Quick Meals for Kids
Healthy Breakfast: 3 Quick Meals for Kids

Image: Sugary cereal, via Shutterstock

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Childhood Cancer Survivors May Face Later Heart Risks

Monday, November 18th, 2013

Children who undergo treatment for cancer may be at greater risk of developing heart disease later in childhood, as well as in adulthood, according to a new study presented to the American Heart Association.  Researchers recommended that pediatricians monitor heart health carefully in their patients who have undergone cancer treatments.  More from The New York Times:

Scientists have known for some time that survivors of childhood cancer are several times more likely to develop cardiovascular disease as adults, a result of the toll that lifesaving radiation and chemotherapy treatments can have on the heart. But the new study, presented at an American Heart Association conference over the weekend, is among the first to show that the risk is elevated while the survivors are still children.

The research looked at 319 boys and girls under the age of 18 who underwent chemotherapy treatments for leukemia or cancerous tumors. At the time of the study, the participants were a minimum of five years past the time of their diagnosis.

When the children were compared with 208 siblings of similar ages, the researchers found a nearly 10 percent decrease in arterial health and other signs of premature heart disease.

Image: Baby undergoing treatment, via Shutterstock

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Study: More Children Hospitalized for High Blood Pressure

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

A growing number of children are being hospitalized for hypertension and high blood pressure, a new study published in the American Heart Association’s journal, Hypertension, has found.  The study showed a sharp increase from 12,661 hospitalizations in 1997 to 24,602 in 2006.  CNN.com reports that the increase in childhood obesity is a likely cause of the trend:

The researchers reviewed hospital discharge data for the study. They included all children aged 2 to 18 who were treated for hypertension during hospitalizations, regardless of their primary diagnosis or the main reason why they were hospitalized.

Those most likely to have high blood pressure were older than 9, male and African-American, according to the study.  Some had end-stage renal (kidney) disease.

The study found children with hypertension had an average length of stay of eight days- double that of non-hypertensive kids.

Childhood obesity may play a role in the sharp increase in hospitalizations.

American Heart Association spokesman Dr. Ernesto Schiffrin from the Department of Medicine at McGill University, Montreal, Quebec said obesity seems to be an even stronger risk factor for high blood pressure in children than it is in adults.

“Increasingly, these are children with essential hypertension- this is consequence of the epidemic of obesity and diabetes that is found increasingly in teenagers and younger children,” he said.

“If we are going to prevent adult hypertension, we have to start at this early age by avoiding obesity, cutting back on salt and exercising- otherwise this will increase further the prevalence of adult hypertension and the huge costs that will occur accordingly.”

Image: Child getting blood pressure taken, via Shutterstock.

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