European Union clamps down on cereal's health claims


Various cereal manufacturers in the UK are going to be forced to remove their many health claims, used for advertising unless they can be scientifically proven.

Kellogg's could be one of the biggest companies affected.

Sugar Puffs has claims on their packaging that it helps boost digestive and nervous systems while helping to grow and maintain healthy skin and eyes. What many people aren't realizing is there is 35% sugar in the product! Weetabix Weetos contains 23.5% sugar while boasting "wholegrain goodness fortified with vitamins and iron".
Corinne Vaughan, deputy head of nutrition at the Food Standards Agency, said: “Cereal manufacturers make a variety of health claims. Some are genuine, but other foods are heavily promoted on the basis of health claims for one ingredient, while unhealthy levels of sugar, fat and salt hardly get a mention.”

“We need more clarity in the science behind the claims and in the labelling,” said Susan Jebb, head of the Medical Research Council’s human nutrition unit.

There are two facets to the Brussels crackdown. First, the European Food Safety Authority (Efsa) is conducting a scientific review of 4,000 health claims made by food producers, including cereal manufacturers. Most of the 60-plus rulings published so far for foods, including pro-biotic drinks and yoghurts, have been dismissive of industry health claims.

Kellogg's Optivita is endorsed by Heart UK, a medical charity. It claims to lower blood cholesterol based on the fact that oat bran (one of the ingredients in the cereal) has been shown to lower cholesterol if several grams are eaten regularly every day. What is interesting however is that Optivita contains only 1 gram of active bran per bowl!

Kellogg’s, which admits making a “five-figure” donation to Heart UK, accepts there is no published scientific evidence to show that eating a daily bowl of Optivita lowers cholesterol.

A spokesman said: “We do have evidence of our own to show it reduces cholesterol, but we have not published it as it is proprietary and confidential. All our claims are backed by good science.”

And we wonder why with all this sugar intake, the obesity levels are rising in the UK. I would love to see what the sugar levels are like in our boxed cereal here in America!

Check out the Daily Mail for a breakdown of various cereals. It is quite the eye opener!


Stephen Guy-Clarke said...

Foods to avoid X
Put simply, refined sugar overstimulates the hormone insulin, which in turn stimulates HMG-CoA reductase (an enzyme responsible for cholesterol synthesis inside each cell). As insulin speeds up the enzyme activity within the cholesterol manufacturing pipeline, it leads to a build up and surplus within each cell. At this point there is no need for the cell to retrieve any from the bloodstream and cholesterol begins to build up in the blood. Reduce insulin and immediately the signal that causes an increase in cholesterol synthesis is silenced and the cells begin to harvest the necessary cholesterol directly from the blood, causing blood levels to drop. Excess insulin also inhibits the release of glucagon. Glucagon’s job is to restore blood sugar levels for optimal brain function. Glucagon inhibits the activity of HMG-CoA reductase. So by increasing the hormone glucagon you decrease the cholesterol producing machinery inside the cells, forcing LDL receptors to rush to the cell surface in an effort to pull cholesterol from the blood and restore the appropriate balance.

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