Are Fortified Kids’ Breakfast Cereals Healthy or Just Candy?

Are Fortified Kids’ Breakfast Cereals Healthy or Just Candy?
4.87 (97.39%) 46 votes

The industry’s response to the charge that breakfast cereals are too sugary.

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

In 1941, the American Medical Association’s Council on Foods and Nutrition was presented with a new product, Vi-Chocolin, a vitamin-fortified chocolate bar, “offered ostensibly as a…product of high nutritive value…but in reality, intended for promotion to the public as a [kind of] vitaminized candy.” Surely something like that couldn’t happen today! But that’s the entire sugary cereal industry’s business model. Twelve vitamins and minerals. Way better than those marshmallow Froot Loops with just a measly 11.

Nutrients are added to breakfast cereals “as a marketing gimmick to create an aura of healthfulness.” If those same nutrients were added to soda, would we feed our kids Coke for breakfast? We might as well spray cotton candy with vitamins too. As one medical journal editorial read, “Adding vitamins and minerals to sugary cereals…is worse than useless. The subtle message… is that it is safe to eat more.”

General Mills’ “Grow up strong with Big G kids’ cereals” ad campaign featured products like Lucky Charms, Trix, and Cocoa Puffs. That’s like the dairy industry promoting ice cream to get your calcium. Kids who eat presweetened breakfast cereals may get more than 20 percent of their daily calories from added sugar. Most sugar in the American diet comes from beverages like soda, but breakfast cereals represent the third-largest food source of added sugars in the diets of children and adolescents, wedged between candy and ice cream. On a per-serving basis, there is more added sugar in a cereal like Frosted Flakes than there is in frosted chocolate cake, brownies, or a frosted doughnut.

Kellogg and General Mills argue that breakfast cereals only contribute a “relatively small amount of sugar” to the diets of children; less than soda, for example. This is a perfect example of a psychological phenomenon known as “diffusion of responsibility.” That’s like every restaurant in the country arguing that their individual contribution to the problem of secondhand smoke is relatively tiny, and therefore should be exempted from a smoking ban. Each and every source of added sugar should be reduced.

The industry argues that most of their cereals have less than 10 grams of sugar per serving, but when Consumer Reports measured how much youngsters actually poured, they were found to serve themselves about 50 percent more than the suggested serving size for most of the tested cereals. The average portion of Frosted Flakes they poured for themselves contained 18 grams of sugar (4.5 teaspoons, or 6 sugar packets worth). It’s been estimated that “a child eating one serving per day of [the average children’s cereal] would consume [close to 10 pounds of sugar in a year], nearly 1,000 spoonfuls of sugar.”

General Mills offers the “Mary Poppins defense,” arguing that it’s those spoonfuls of sugar that can help the medicine go down, explaining that “if sugar is removed from bran cereal, it would have the consistency of sawdust.” If we couldn’t add sugar, our cereals would be unpalatable. If one has to add sugar to a product to make it edible, that should be a sign. That’s a characteristic of so-called “ultraprocessed” foods, where you have to pack them full of things like sugar, salt, and flavorings since they have had “their [natural] intrinsic flavors processed out…and [you have] to mask any [unpleasantries] in the final product.”

The president of the Cereal Institute has argued that without sugary cereals, kids might not eat breakfast at all, similar to dairy industry arguments that “removing chocolate milk from school cafeterias” would risk kids skipping lunch. He also stressed we must consider the alternatives. As Kellogg’s director of nutrition once put it: “I would suggest that Fruit [sic] Loops as a snack are much better than potato chips or a sweet roll.” You know there’s a problem when the only way to make your product look good is to compare it to Pringles and Cinnabon.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: Etienne Girardet via unsplash. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

In 1941, the American Medical Association’s Council on Foods and Nutrition was presented with a new product, Vi-Chocolin, a vitamin-fortified chocolate bar, “offered ostensibly as a…product of high nutritive value…but in reality, intended for promotion to the public as a [kind of] vitaminized candy.” Surely something like that couldn’t happen today! But that’s the entire sugary cereal industry’s business model. Twelve vitamins and minerals. Way better than those marshmallow Froot Loops with just a measly 11.

Nutrients are added to breakfast cereals “as a marketing gimmick to create an aura of healthfulness.” If those same nutrients were added to soda, would we feed our kids Coke for breakfast? We might as well spray cotton candy with vitamins too. As one medical journal editorial read, “Adding vitamins and minerals to sugary cereals…is worse than useless. The subtle message… is that it is safe to eat more.”

General Mills’ “Grow up strong with Big G kids’ cereals” ad campaign featured products like Lucky Charms, Trix, and Cocoa Puffs. That’s like the dairy industry promoting ice cream to get your calcium. Kids who eat presweetened breakfast cereals may get more than 20 percent of their daily calories from added sugar. Most sugar in the American diet comes from beverages like soda, but breakfast cereals represent the third-largest food source of added sugars in the diets of children and adolescents, wedged between candy and ice cream. On a per-serving basis, there is more added sugar in a cereal like Frosted Flakes than there is in frosted chocolate cake, brownies, or a frosted doughnut.

Kellogg and General Mills argue that breakfast cereals only contribute a “relatively small amount of sugar” to the diets of children; less than soda, for example. This is a perfect example of a psychological phenomenon known as “diffusion of responsibility.” That’s like every restaurant in the country arguing that their individual contribution to the problem of secondhand smoke is relatively tiny, and therefore should be exempted from a smoking ban. Each and every source of added sugar should be reduced.

The industry argues that most of their cereals have less than 10 grams of sugar per serving, but when Consumer Reports measured how much youngsters actually poured, they were found to serve themselves about 50 percent more than the suggested serving size for most of the tested cereals. The average portion of Frosted Flakes they poured for themselves contained 18 grams of sugar (4.5 teaspoons, or 6 sugar packets worth). It’s been estimated that “a child eating one serving per day of [the average children’s cereal] would consume [close to 10 pounds of sugar in a year], nearly 1,000 spoonfuls of sugar.”

General Mills offers the “Mary Poppins defense,” arguing that it’s those spoonfuls of sugar that can help the medicine go down, explaining that “if sugar is removed from bran cereal, it would have the consistency of sawdust.” If we couldn’t add sugar, our cereals would be unpalatable. If one has to add sugar to a product to make it edible, that should be a sign. That’s a characteristic of so-called “ultraprocessed” foods, where you have to pack them full of things like sugar, salt, and flavorings since they have had “their [natural] intrinsic flavors processed out…and [you have] to mask any [unpleasantries] in the final product.”

The president of the Cereal Institute has argued that without sugary cereals, kids might not eat breakfast at all, similar to dairy industry arguments that “removing chocolate milk from school cafeterias” would risk kids skipping lunch. He also stressed we must consider the alternatives. As Kellogg’s director of nutrition once put it: “I would suggest that Fruit [sic] Loops as a snack are much better than potato chips or a sweet roll.” You know there’s a problem when the only way to make your product look good is to compare it to Pringles and Cinnabon.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: Etienne Girardet via unsplash. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

70 responses to “Are Fortified Kids’ Breakfast Cereals Healthy or Just Candy?

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    1. Dan,

      Coffee fortified cereal!!

      No, wait, that’s for adults. Or, is it? Parents feed their kids sodas with caffeine. I once watched in horror at a fast food restaurant as parents poured the remains of a soda drink into a baby’s bottle — complete with ice.

      1. “I once watched in horror at a fast food restaurant as parents poured the remains of a soda drink into a baby’s bottle — complete with ice.”

        OMG…. This just reinforces my belief that some people should be sterilized. That really, legitimately, should be considered child abuse.

    2. Pain killing anti depressing CBD cereal has got to be out somewhere by now. (checking internet) Yup. Weetos Froot Poofs CBD Breakfast Cereal, Captain Crunchy Munch Berries CBD Breakfast Cereal. There is even ‘fruity cereal CBD vape juice’ to smoke. Sheesh.

  1. Best line, thanks for the good laugh to start my day, Dr. Greger! “If sugar is removed from bran cereal, it would have the consistency of sawdust.”

  2. I know many a kid who loves their muesli. It came over from Europe before cereal was even invented by Kellog (grape nuts) and CW Post (corn flakes).

    1. Reality Bites, I think you may have it backwards – Kellog’s Corn Flakes, and Post Grape Nuts. Kellog’s products never appealed to me, but neither did muesli or granola type cereals. I did enjoy Post Grape Nuts, Shredded Wheat cereals at one point, but now porridge or just fruit and toast is fine.
      Bad food is rampant in our culture, and the fact that people still buy this crap amazes me. Take a look at the canned veggie and beans labels … added sugar (in many disguised forms) , salt, chemicals. Some of the items doled out through the food banks and the school programs are a disgrace.

        1. RB, I forgot to say that I think your ideas of granola and muesli are good ones. Muesli can get a little expensive with teenage boys around the house, but hey, at least it’s good nutrition. The recipes in Dr G’s cookbook sound awesome too!

          Kids might also take to smoothies if they are not tooo green. Must be some good kids recipes out there.

  3. What the breakfast cereal industry is perpetrating is a systemic form of Child Abuse and Assault with a weapon that can be considered deadly. The owners and Boards of Directors of cereal companies need to be charged, convicted and jailed for life since thousands upon thousands of children have died as a direct result of eating this muck.

    1. “…..since thousands upon thousands of children have died as a direct result of eating this muck.”
      – – – – –

      I agree it’s pretty drecky, but it sounds like some major exaggeration is going on here.

      1. As a physician over 40 years, I have witnessed a dramatic decrease in the wellbeing of children. Obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, fatty liver disease, metabolic syndrome, and other lifestyle related diseases were rare in children in the 1970’s, but now are common. Though sugary cereals are tot the only cause, they contribute mightily to these acquired illnesses.

      2. YR are you for real? Are you completely unaware of the damage sugar a causes in the human body? Have you learned nothing here about the damage refined flour does, what about milk?

        Let’s think about it for a moment, shall we?

        Put bowl after bowl of milk carrying the BOVINE LEUKEMIA VIRUS into your body or a child’s body while keeping in mind the 37% of Breast Cancer attributed to BLV and Prostate Cancer as well as Leukemia itself. Keep in mind that milk and milk products are the number one cause of constipation, allergies and food sensitivities. People die from those things and their complications. Milk is a cause or is linked to 55 different and ultimately fatal degenerative diseases. Could the fact that humans did not evolve to consume milk products have anything to do with that?

        Then we get to the cereal that is 100% refined flour loaded with ingredients within ingredients that are not listed on the packaging and are also not even food, that you have all discussed ad nauseam. Having stuck that muck in your mouth, you chew it and swallow it. After you swallow it, a careful examination of your gumline would show that, yes indeed, there is a rime of milky flour and chemicals jammed into the interface between your gums and teeth that no amount of brushing will remove. Unless you have very regular (expensive) cleanings at the dentist you eventually get gum disease. Of course your dentist never tells you that refined flour and even whole grain flour (an oxymoron if there ever was one) is tied with milk as also being the number one cause of gum disease. Once you have that, in nearly all cases, you have it for life because you don’t know how to cure it and neither does your dentist. Eventually, having consumed many more of Trix, Frosted Flakes, Fruit Loops and maybe even Shredded Wheat without sugar, you have periodontitis that you also can’t get rid of. So your teeth start being pulled one by one.

        Meanwhile, since you stuff yourself with milk, flour and sugar every day, your entire intestinal tract is in a state of fermentation that food scientists don’t want any part of. Try finding studies that talk about digestive tract fermentation that doesn’t veer off topic and focus on turning yourself into an ambulatory alcohol still. Most people don’t get that far but as you must know by now, having your guts full of fermenting acids is not conducive to longevity.

        In the meantime, since you have now had gum disease living in your excess phlegm for some time now, you also have plugged sinuses, chronic bronchitis, heart disease, constipation, clogged arteries, stressed kidneys, fatty liver and a pancreas that is beginning to falter. Meanwhile your spleen is swelling, you have gallstones, and are well on your way to Type 2 diabetes and you already have intermittent hypoglycemia. Your eyesight is deteriorating and your hearing is no hell since you’ve had repeated ear infections. So you have tinnitus as well. This is you as a teenager. By the time you’re 40 if you last that long, you’re overweight, if not morbidly obese, and a candidate for an early demise. About half of Americans are in this state now and the rest are wannabes. They are dying like flies. I have never ever met a perfectly healthy American. You people are all sick of something. And you don’t think your breakfast cereal has anything to do with your decreasing life spans? Give your head a shake.

        As I’ve said before, you people may read Dr. Greger’s stuff and regurgitate studies up the yin-yang but it does not seem to me that any of you has learned a damned thing. I stopped participating in the discussions because it’s like talking to duck. Lots of quacking going on but no sign of a higher order of intelligence. I didn’t see a single useful comment until I got all the way down to Blair’s one liner. Other than that, an analysis of the video format that could have a bigger audience on YouTube.

        1. “YR are you for real? Are you completely unaware of the damage sugar a causes in the human body? Have you learned nothing here about the damage refined flour does, what about milk? ”
          – – – – –

          YouPeople

          Good grief man, what are you blabbering on about? When I referred to “major exaggeration,” I meant YOU and your statement about “thousands upon thousands of children have died as a direct result….” Where’s your link proving your declaration? I mean, “as a direct result”?

          I personally never eat refined four products or drink milk. I avoid sugar too, other than what’s in my 72+% dark chocolate or a drizzle of honey or molasses on my whole-grain cereal.

          Are you in a lousy mood because your SHIT work-in-progress isn’t going so well? So sorry.

        2. Your problem John is that you completely ignore any and all evidence that refutes your opinions. You just keep making the same bizarre assertions over and over again, interspersed with the occasional moment of lucidity.

          I am sure that it must be disappointing that people here don’t immediately fall to their knees and express gratitude that you have deigned to instruct us mere mortals. We tend to unreasonably demand that people provide evidence for their statements instead of just accepting their opinions as facts. Even opinions justified by weird cockamamie reasoning.

        3. John Newell,
          Can you direct me to some of the sources of this dental/gum disease research? I would really love to read these. I am aware of some of the points, you have made, however, the dental professionals are not really getting the details and nuances. And brushing and flossing are never going to be the fix.
          Thank you !!

          1. All of the 1000s of clinical studies in periodontal research clearly show that patients that daily brush and floss correctly (as instructed by a dentist or hygienist) are at very low risk of developing periodontitis which is THE most common chronic disease known to humanity. As far as dental decay goes, not eating ANY industrial sugar (and having 1PPM fluoride ingested during tooth formation) puts one at very low risk for tooth decay. There are no shortcuts that we know of.

  4. Good information, and I agree. But, how about listing some good alternatives that kids will actually eat, with links to recipes? That’s what busy parents need for the crazy morning rush! And you’re not a fan of eggs so that’s out too. Fruit is great, but you cant toss them a banana or an orange every single day. Is oatmeal (with enough maple syrup drizzled over it to make it palatable to kids) any better, nutritionally?

    1. Grandma, head on over to the Forks Over Knives site for lots of kid-friendly recipes. The breakfast burrito sounds really good:

      https://www.forksoverknives.com/recipes/big-breakfast-burrito/#gs.mpoy4k

      you can make lots of variations and keep the mix in the fridge to heat in the morning.

      Blueberry oatmeal muffins, quinoa with bananas and berries, and stuff like that might go over well.

      My adult choice of a kale and berry smoothie and a chunk of tofu may be a harder sell, though!

      1. Well, my mother, with her limited knowledge but best interests in mind, made me a raw egg/orange juice concoction in a blender and shipped me off to school. If someone is hungry though, they’ll eat what’s available….

    2. Oatmeal in my house, we use never instant, and sweeten with homemade date syrup. They taste great as a sweetener and add fiber and potassium. (I get mine at Costco already depitted). A few frozen blueberries or banana (or any other fruit you like) to change things up keeps it from turning into human kibble boredom for the kids. We also make ‘superfood breakfast bites’ from the How not to Die cookbook. They are much like a Larabar but with more ingredients for nutrition. Great for a breakfast on the go. The ‘summertime oatmeal’ recipe in that cookbook is also great during the hot summer when a bowl of steaming oatmeal has less appeal as the cold rolled oats are soaked overnight instead of being cooked.

    3. Why can’t you “toss them a banana or an orange every single day”? We do and it works great. Our kids love it. Can also add other fruit…and why not beans, brown rice and veggies that we’ve made the night before. Where is the logic that certain foods only be eaten at certain times? None. And for the past 20 million years there was not nearly as large a variety to our diets as we have today so kids were eating the same thing all the time ….and survived/thrived. Its tempting to stick to old paradigms and patterns of food consumption, but they make no sense and need to be forgotten.

    4. Grandma – Since kids cereals are made from grain: wheat, barley, rye, rice, . . it’s completely natural, if one wanted to, to simply cook up a potful of whole grains. What’s wrong with eating a bowl of corn for breakfast? Corn flakes are made from corn so why not eat the whole food itself?
      For myself, I like to cook up a pot of 1/2 rice, 1/4 whole rye berries (and if you’ve never had them you are missing a real treat!), 1/4 whole wheat berries. I vary that with quinoa, wild rice, hulled barley whole grains as substitutions. This concoction I eat with dinner, . . or lunch (with vegetables as a salad) and as breakfast. And can be brought along as a snack or lunch in my lunch pack.
      I cook the above with various flavoring – vegg broth for the liquid, add a little salt if desired, some onion/garlic powder, any spicing one enjoys either savory or sweet with cinnamon and clove (pumpkin pie spicing works well). I happen to love ginger and I will add an inch or two of minced ginger into the grains.
      The whole grains are chewy and yummy and stick to your ribs.
      Just cook a pot and experiment and see what you like.
      I like to cook a whole pot so that I have plenty of grain options for a few days and don’t have a long-cook situation in the morning. One minute in the microwave and I’m good to go.

      1. I have never had rye berries. Do they taste similar to rye bread?

        I did look them up and they sell 40 and 50-pound bags of it. I finally did find a 1-pound bag on Amazon.

        How many pounds of them do you cook per month?

        1. Deb – I just cook however many rye berries I choose to. Why don’t you just do the same.
          As we all know, we, on this site, experiment.
          No need to ask these mundane questions.

          1. They aren’t mundane questions. Of course most of us experiment. Everyone does not know how to do everything. And everyone cannot casually experiment endlessly when families need to eat. Peacefully share or not. Kind or quiet can be a great place to start.

      2. Ruth,

        I just recently cooked emmer (which is farro but not pearled farro), rye, and barley (hull-less) in my Instant Pot. Plain. And they were good. I added a bit too much water, so I made a soup with the left-overs (adding it to beans cooked in the IP, along with some broth, onions, carrots, celery, some frozen veggie mix as an experiment). That was also pretty good.

        I really enjoy reading all the meal suggestions on this site. So, thank you, everyone. And please don’t stop; I need some good ideas, being mired in the old days and patterns.

        And yes, the microwave is our friend for heating up left-overs. And for easily cooking some foods, such as winter squash. Spaghetti squash is so quick when cooked in the microwave! As is acorn squash. Perhaps I should experiment some more.

    5. Hi, the sugar he is referring to is white processed sugar. Maple syrup is natural sugar so it’s fine to add that to oatmeal for a quick palatable kids breakfast.

  5. Way back when my husband and I were starting out, we needed to tighten the food budget. The two items we removed completely were boxed cereal and salad dressing. They are both unnecessary and highly marked up in the grocery store. We also mostly removed meat and learned to buy whole foods. When things got really tight, we lived on an oatmeal, potato, cabbage, onion, carrot, and split pea base with whatever fresh or frozen veg and fruit were cheap that week.

    Too bad we eventually made enough money to spend more on groceries!

    Not only is cereal unhealthy; it is also expensive. It’s terrible that parents without much money think they need to buy it.

    1. Cereal is dying quickly though. Apparently millennials think pouring cereal into a bowl-adding liquid-then cleaning bowl after is too much work. (this can be googled)

  6. I am disappointed that the spraying of Glysophate on grains to dry them faster is not mentioned. They also have 140 to 160 mg of salt per serving in cereal nowadays. Cereals are also a ripoff costing up to eight dollars a pound for garbage. I saw a website that listed the amount of Glysophate in each cereal and it was very high on many of them. The government does not protect the public any more, you are on your own.

    1. James,

      I like the acronym CRAP — Calorie Rich And Processed — for the “garbage” that you mentioned. I learned it on this website; I forget where Dr. Greger said he found it.

      Maybe we could add a $$ afterward? The profit margin on CRAP is much higher than for whole food. And both animal products and CRAP are heavily subsidized by our tax dollars. Our entire food system is upside down.

      And then we become sick, and seek medical care at outrageous prices. Those who are lucky have private or public insurance, the unlucky ones languish and worse. And we also prop up this industry with tax dollars. So our whole health system is upside down as well.

      1. The Calorie Rich And Processed (CRAP) acronym was coined by Jeff Novick M.S., R.D.N., whose talk on calorie density (on YouTube) is worth multiple viewings.

      2. And very few are aware of how this is so crazy. Toxic food choices are so subsidized, then we get sick and can barely afford the health care that cannot really help us anyway.

  7. Content: 10, presentation format, not so 10. There is nothing wrong with Dr. Greger’s face. But the video is distracting. The “put it to the test” video insert was roundly disapproved. I feel this is in the same category. I like the dynamic entrance and exits of the articles, charts, highlighting, and other often clever visuals. That is first class. But, with no offense intended, Strike the Mike.

    1. That is interesting.

      For me, watching this one, it was every chart and graph entering and exiting that I found more distracting this time than other times this format was used. The sliding Dr. Greger and the charts all around is the part that distracts me away from the content of the graphs and charts.

      1. Around 1:40 when Dr. Greger is being shifted back and forth, it is hard to watch and he actually did a good job himself.

        The competing graphs were bad this time and I know it because I watched and didn’t actually look at the words on any of them.

        I just re-watched it and it was still hard to watch the words because it was graph versus graph versus picture and then Dr. Greger starts sliding back and forth and the I genuinely didn’t mind his performance at all this time. I just felt the whole format was way, way, way too razzle-dazzle.

        I don’t want the format to be trying so hard to entertain me as if the science wasn’t interesting enough on its own.

        There would have been times I would also have said that about Dr. Greger, where he didn’t have to try to entertain or be dynamic at all and I felt like that was the problem, but I honestly think he did pretty good in this one. The format itself is a serious problem.

        The graph versus graph and constant motion makes it so much harder to learn.

        Even the second time through with this one, I found it hard to read even the titles, particularly around 1:40 when Dr. Greger is sliding back and forth on top of the competing graphs and charts which I already was ignoring entirely.

        The fact that I watched it more than once and still only looked at Dr. Greger and the pictures and the word, “cereal” is not something that ever happens. I always look at all of it.

        1. Back when I was helping people edit projects at film school what I remember was that what made the best editors so hard to notice was that they made their edits almost invisible – meaning if you are watching the editing it means you aren’t watching the content. I think most people started off thinking that a slick edit was so cool that it took a long time to understand that the amazing editors didn’t draw any attention to themselves. This format is constant editing and it is hard not to be totally aware of it. The old format wasn’t like that because when the charts and graphs came up, you would just read the sentences and mentally follow the content.

          I am so aware of the format in this format. I think it is the same in photography when someone uses photography editing software with special effects. The first few times you use the big swirl effect it is cool, but a few years later, that effect rarely gets used because it was the effect that anybody at all who was using the software recognized. Paint Box has the same thing. People used them and the effects were amazing and then, after a few months, you look at the image and mentally say, “They are leaning heavily on Paint Box.”

          The format is heavy-handed.

          Also, Dr. Greger is videotaped in a way that is “in your face” and he is not at all acting “in your face” it is the camera position. The example I could use from the Food Network would be “Food Network Star” and in all of the other shows Bobby Flay is in, he is likable, but in that particular show he often looks like a great big jerk and it is accomplished by camera and editing and lighting and how they dress him. They have him stand way across the room from the contestants and it is wide shots whenever he is with them. I won’t do the whole thought process, but there is a director who wants him to be Le Cordon Bleu looking down on all of the Julia Childs wannabes. We want you to come on the network and look like an idiot with Bobby Flay looking down on you – while he dresses and acts cold. He is Rocky in most of the other shows and in that one they direct him to be Apollo Creed on purpose and I am not sure why, but they decided that was entertaining and dramatic and it became their most popular show and people come to love, love, love some of the people and hate, hate, hate other of the people and if you watch Iron Chef you don’t have that polarizing concept.

          1. When it comes to the camera being that unnaturally close in front of an unnatural background- you are getting flack for being the problem even when you do well.

            I don’t know if you have ever seen people acting with green screen but even with professional actors, the green screen leaves the same unnatural visual experience until they insert a background.

            I feel like TEDTalk, you nail it and you nail it in the documentaries.

            In this format even when you do well, it feels unnatural.

            1. In a lot of ways you have the most entertaining videos versus all of the other doctors who just talk naturally and don’t edit and with them it feels as if they were having a conference,

              Yours is higher end, but you aren’t doing a process where you use flattering lighting and other techniques that Hollywood uses.

              That didn’t matter when you weren’t on screen, but it matters when you are.

          2. Thank you. These comments are so fascinating. I am sooo interested in the content that I have given little thought to all the delivery etc. When I have to rerun it and pause to read or reread and think, it has not occurred to me to think of why. I think I have just concluded that I am so thrilled that I can replay and pause and rewatch weeks later. Sometimes it is so much easier to read without audio. and I run the closed-captioned/subtitles also.

  8. How does this apply to adult cereal that are already pretty close to sawdust, I wonder? Because I honestly like that consistency to add to my oatmeal. I use half oats half Kellogg’s bran flakes because it adds that nice texture and crunch and I’m mostly relying on fortified bran cereal and plant milk for my D and B12 since I thought they were cheaper than supplements. So I use these bran flakes as alternative in many recipes too, like healthier cheesecake crust or granola bars..

    Now that I’m actually looking at the sugar content, Kellogg’s All-bran has 4.2g(5%) sugar per 30g, or 14g(17%) sugar per 100g. For comparison, Fruit Loops has 10.5g(12%) per 30g and a whopping 34.7g(40%) per 100g.

    I’m tempted to use the “at least it’s better than fruit loops” defense now but I know how ironic that’ll sound!
    But I still feel like I’d be missing these crazy amounts of added vitamins and minerals that I don’t usually get from my cheap veggie/grain diet if I cut out my trusty sawdust flakes. :( Kale is expensive here. and I can’t make healthy cheesecake with it.

    1. For a fast weekday breakfast when I don’t have leftovers, we eat Ezekiel 4:9 almond cereal. Add 1 oz. per person of plain raw slivered almonds, and 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed. Then soy or almond milk, and choice of 2 servings of fruit. One of those is always some berries, other serving varies with time of year.
      Ezekiel 4:9 is the only Organic cereal I could find with NO added sugar. Organic means no glyphosate added.

      Another suggestion for kids, fast, easy, is almond butter or peanut butter sandwich on a good whole grain bread with jam made of only fruit. Easy to add a banana, peach, apple etc. We freeze extra peaches for winter use.

      Also, when I make whole grain muffins or pancakes on weekends, I make enough for leftovers during the week.
      Always add ground flaxseed and nuts to the muffins. I usually use almond flour as part of the recipe as I believe in having a higher protein breakfast.
      Cornbread is another food where I substitute almond flour for the wheat flour. I use the almond flour and organic corn meal I get at Natural Grocers. That plus a bean soup is a hearty lunch or supper. Greens, sweet potatoes, turnips etc. on the side.

      Lots of good recipes out there. Cookie and Kate’s website has some that can be adapted for vegans. In fact she tells you how to adapt most of her recipes for vegetarians and vegans.

      1. “…or peanut butter sandwich on a good whole grain bread with jam made of only fruit.”
        – – – – –

        Marilyn, that’s what I have as an alternate after dinner dessert. The other option is 2-3 squares of 72+ dark chocolate, natch.

        But instead of a sandwich, I toast only one slice of either Ezekiel or sourdough bread. After it’s toasted I smear on some trusty nothing-added peanut butter (Teddie’s, for instance) and some Polaner All Fruit — concord grape, blueberry, strawberry. In fact, this is what I had for dessert tonight.

    2. Jaz

      Note that those percentages are given as a proportion of total weight. The sugar will represent a significantly higher percentage of total calories because fibre has fewer calories per gramme than sugar.

  9. I’ve shared this before but I find it so amusing I will again. I still remember a TV ad jingle from my youth 60 years ago:” Kelloggs Sugar Corn Pops. Sugar Pops are tops. The Pops are sweeter and the taste is new. They’re shot with sugar, through and through.”

  10. Yes it has a lot of disadvantages,but for picky eaters it can be a source of iron & vitamins for those that don’t take a multivitamin…Obviously would be better that they got it from other sources that would have added benefits (fiber,phytochemicals etc…) But at least it helps prevent some deficiencies which aren’t fun for anyone.

    1. Fumbles, parents are afraid of their kids nowadays, you know that!

      Dr. G., are you trying to lose weight? In the pic of you with no beard (on your main page), you look healthier IMO. True, it was probably taken at least a decade ago.

    2. Fumbles – THANK YOU FOR THAT!!!!! HELLO WHO THE HELL IS IN CHARGE IN THE HOUSE?

      Now that I’ve said that, I would like to share an experience of mine while shopping in the grocery store. As I was shopping for vegetables, I saw a Mother and child, about 5 years old, asking, . . . .IMPLORING, . .. his Mother, “Couldn’t we please have brussels sprouts for dinner this week?” Shocked, I couldn’t help but ask her how that happened in her house since I’d never heard a child ask for brussels sprouts before.
      She told me how simple it was – “I am in charge of the food in the house and we do not have any junk. Ever. My son has learned to enjoy real food in its natural state.”.
      It really is THAT SIMPLE.

      For those who whine about how they can’t get their kids (or whomever) to eat healthful food, I have NO SYMPATHY. Look in the friggin mirror and see who brings the crappy food into the house. If it’s you then just shut up and stop whining.

  11. Dr. Greger,

    The new video format that focuses on you is incredibly distracting. One of the things I appreciated about the previous format is that it focused my attention on the research, the key quotes, and graphs. Now it’s all focused on you, your physical mannerisms, and the weird green lighting that appears in your glasses as you move your head.

    For viewers like me, the other format was much more effective in communicating the findings in the research.

    If you want to associate your image with this more, I suggest changing your website to include a larger circular photo of your face. A small one displays at the top left of the video, but you could include a larger one either next to the NutritionFacts.org logo on the top left or at the top of the Doctor’s Note under the embedded video or in both places.

  12. Are there any healthy dry packaged cereals that are made from whole grain with very little or no added sugar? Is reading labels good enough to tell?

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