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Health officials have this week revealed which breakfast cereals contain the most sugar, and their findings show that some contain over half of a child’s recommended daily sugar intake per bowl . Campaigners are calling for reductions to be made in the amount of sugar added to cereal, as well as better education of parents to help combat Britain’s child obesity crisis.

Cereal is usually considered a healthy breakfast staple, but Liverpool Councillor Tim Beaumont says this is “a myth”. Common breakfast cereals, such as Coco Pops and Frosties, contain as much sugar per 30g bowl as two and a half chocolate biscuits. As Dr Sandra Davies, Director of Public Health, points out, “Most people don’t have the time to read labels when racing around the supermarket,” and may therefore not realise how much sugar is in cereal.

So-called ‘hidden’ sugar is believed to be one of the reasons child obesity is on the rise. More than a fifth of British 3 and 4 year olds are overweight or obese, rising to a third of 10 and 11 year olds. Such a startling statistic has led health officials to ‘name and shame’ cereal brands which are especially high in sugar.

Medicine applicants might wish to look at the effects that consuming too much sugar has on general health, while Biology and Natural Sciences B applicants would be wise to understand how sugar is broken down by the body. Politics students could analyse and evaluate the governmental policies which have been introduced, as well as those (like the Sugar Tax) which have been put forward by celebrities such as Jamie Oliver.

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