The food industry is taking exception to a “Cereal Facts” study from the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at Yale University. In the study released last month, researchers agreed that cereal manufacturers are making healthier products but continue to advertise less-healthy, sugar-laden products. Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) says that’s not the case.
“Working through the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI), America’s leading cereal companies have voluntarily adopted strict advertising criteria so that 100 percent of their ads seen on children’s programming promote healthier diet choices and better-for-you products,” GMA says. Under CFBAI, processors have reformulated products to reduce sugars, fats and sodium and to increase positive nutrients. Since 2007, sugar reductions in cereals have ranged from 10 to 25 percent, and today 86 percent of cereals advertised to children contain no more than 10 grams of sugar per serving.”
It’s a sensitive issue since much of the Washington-centered debate over childhood obesity has focused on food and how it is marketed. GMA says cereal companies have joined the food and beverage industry in accelerating efforts to provide parents with the products, tools and information they need.