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Group: Cereal bars healthy snack a 'myth'

Aug. 19, 2012 at 12:13 AM   |   Comments

LONDON, Aug. 19 (UPI) -- A consumer group in Britain says the image of cereal bars as a healthy snack is a ''myth" because they contain high levels of fat and sugar.

The group Which? is calling for manufacturers to reduce sugar and fat in food products marketed to children such as cereal bars -- the group said a study of 30 cereal bars found all but one was high in sugar and 16 contained more than 30 percent sugar, The Daily Telegraph reported.

One bar, Nutri-Grain Elevenses, contained nearly 4 teaspoons of sugar, while Monster Puffs, a cereal bar described as ''great for your lunchbox," contained 43.5 percent sugar, the group said.

"People often choose cereal bars in the belief they're healthier than chocolate or biscuits but our research shows this can be a myth," Richard Lloyd, executive director of Which?, said.

The Nakd Apple Pie was the only cereal bar that did not contain any added sugar, while the Weetabix Oaty Strawberry Crusher bar was the healthiest choice for children with a low-salt content and medium levels of fat and saturated fat, the group said.

A spokeswoman for Kellogg's, which makes the Nutri-Grain Elevenses bar, protested that its sugary snack is not a cereal bar and so shouldn't have been included in the comparison.

"If you've eaten one you know it's not," the spokeswoman said. ''It's a baked bar, and looks and eats much more like a muffin or cake. We bake it like a cake and market it as a mid-morning snack."

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