Fortified Cereals Are Crap For Kids – So You’ve Failed Again, Parents
Turns out all of those cereal boxes that get all braggy about their nutrients are actually really bad for kids. Children may be ingesting dangerous levels of vitamin A, niacin, and zinc in cereals “whose added nutrients were based on an adult diet.” Did any of us really believe this crap was good for our kids? I didn’t, but the vitamins listed on the box made me feel a little better about feeding my kid an easy bowl of cereal. Thanks a lot to the research organization that blew my farce wide open. Jerks.
When combining food intake and vitamin supplements, the report calculates that more than 10 million American children are getting too much vitamin A; more than 13 million get excessive too much zinc; and nearly 5 million get too much niacin.
The biggest offenders were Kellogg’s Product 19 and General Mills Total Raisin Brain, as well as a number of store brands. So if you were trying to buy this cereal because you believed it was better for your kids than Frosted Flakes – too bad. That’s what you get for trying to be a good mother. As my co-worker said, “This is why i feed my kid hershey’s kisses and hot dogs for breakfast. Joke’s on the good moms.” This is actually pretty serious:
Getting adequate amounts of all three nutrients is needed to maintain health and prevent disease, but the report says that routinely ingesting too much vitamin A can, over time, lead to health issues such as liver damage and skeletal abnormalities. High zinc intakes can impair copper absorption and negatively affect red and white blood cells and immune function, and consuming too much niacin can cause short-term symptoms such as rash, nausea and vomiting, the report says.
A spokesperson for Kellog’s basically says we all feed our kids crap and they aren’t getting enough nutrients, therefore they have to dose them with an unsafe, huge amount to offset our shitty parenting. I’m paraphrasing:
“The report ignores a great deal of the nutrition science and consumption data showing that without fortification of foods such as ready-to-eat cereals, many children would not get enough vitamins & minerals in their diets. Less than 2 percent of all cereals assessed by EWG made their “Top 23″ list and the vast majority of these are adult-oriented cereals not regularly consumed by children.”
The director of research for the Environmental Working Group, the group that ran the study, says most nutritional labels on our foods haven’t been updated since 1968. Wow. The FDA is reportedly aiming to fix that this year.
Bottom line – even if you are trying to do something healthy for your children, you’re probably failing. Also, don’t rely on huge corporations who push processed foods to keep your kids healthy.