Nutritional quality of Australian breakfast cereals - are they improving?
The nutritional quality of Australian breakfast cereals is not systematically monitored despite the importance of breakfast for general health. We examined whether the nutritional quality of Australian breakfast cereals has improved between 2004 and 2010, and whether any change could be detected after the introduction of Daily Intake Guide (DIG) front-of-pack labelling. Supermarket surveys were conducted in 2004 and 2010 using the same methodology to collect information from the nutrition information panels of Australian breakfast cereals and the nutrient content of cereals was compared by year. Breakfast cereals with and without DIG labelling in 2010 were also compared. Nutritional quality was assessed using UK Traffic Light criteria. No significant difference was detected in nutritional composition of breakfast cereals between 2004 and 2010. There was no notable improvement in nutritional composition of breakfast cereals marketed as the same product in both years. Overall there has been little improvement in the nutritional quality of Australian breakfast cereals in the 6year period. A large proportion of Australian breakfast cereals were considered high sugar. In conclusion, the introduction of DIG labelling does not appear to have promoted product reformulation, and breakfast cereals carrying DIG labels were not consistently healthier