A recently filed lawsuit claims Cheerios maker is deceiving customers through false advertising and mislabeling. The Center for Science in the Public Interest says that Cheerios Protein does not provide the advertised amount of protein, but it does charge a premium.
The complaint reads that General Mills markets the new product to all audiences as a healthier, high-protein version of the original Cheerios. But CSPI claims that taking into account that the recommended serving size of the high-protein alternative is 55 grams, while that of the original product is 28 grams, Cheerios Protein offers just 7/10th of a gram more than the original Cheerios. In other words, Cheerios Protein provides an extra 4 grams of protein than the low-protein product.
But the difference in protein will not bring any improvements in any person’s diet, the group says, since an adult needs between 46 and 56 grams of protein per day, while teenagers need between 46 and 52 grams of protein daily.
The CSPI is also upset that Cheerios maker doesn’t shy away from charging consumers an extra 70 cents per product at stores including Safeway, Giant Foods and Walmart.
The CSPI has also doubts on the claim that Cheerios protein is healthier. The group found that while the initial Cheeries contains only one gram of sugar, the high-protein one has 17 grams or the equivalent of four teaspoons of sugar.
“They really ought to call the product Cheerios Sugar,”
concluded Michael F. Jacobson, head of the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
According to official recommendations, women should not consume more than five teaspoons of sugar per day and men should not go beyond nine. Children that go to school should eat maximum three teaspoons of sugar per day, while teenagers should not consume more than eight teaspoons.
In the U.S., sugar overconsumption is already a huge problem. For instance, the average U.S. adult consumes 22 teaspoons of added sugar on a daily basis. So adding a sugar-laden cereal such as Cheerios Protein to one’s diet will max out everyone’s daily limit in no time. Just add a sugary drink, which contains 9 to 10 teaspoons of sugar to those 4 teaspoons in Cheerios Protein and see what happens.
So, the CSPI tries to prevent General Mills from marketing a high-sugar product as a healthier alternative to other cereals for kids. Eating too much sugar was often linked to a cohort of metabolic disorders including high blood pressure, insulin levels, and cholesterol.
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