Breakfast cereals up to one third sugar : new analysis shows 23 March 2015 TheObesity Policy Coalition (OPC) analysed the labels of 20 popular breakfast cereals and found that the majority of products carried health y sounding claim s such as a â€˜source of fibreâ€™ , â€˜69% wholegrainâ€™ and â€˜no artificial flavoursâ€™ â€“ though some contain ed more than one third sugar . Jane Martin, Executive Manager of the OPC, believes consumers deserve the right to a clearer picture about what they are eating and the Coalition is urging all cereal manufacturers to adopt Australiaâ€™s voluntary Health Star Rating labelling system. Ms Martin says: â€œ For example, m any breakfast cereals contain high levels of sugar, but manufacturers use all sorts of creative phrases on their labels to give consumers the impression theyâ€™re a nutritious choice for breakfast. Itâ€™s as though they are prepared to tell consumers only half the story. â€œMany parents would be horrified to learn that for every three mouthful s of Nutri Grain , one is just sugar, while a small bowl contains twice as much sodium as a small packet of chips. â€œ The Health Star Rating System was introduced more than a year ago to help consumers compare the overall nutritional quality of products at a glance . The system help s consumers better understand a productâ€™s overall health rating so they can make informed choices , but our research has revealed very few cereals , as yet, carry the star label,â€ Ms Martin says. â€œ Clearer labelling through such a system is a vital step in helping co nsumers make healthier choices in an environment where a pproximately 63% of Australian adults and 25% o f Australian children are overweight or obese. â€œ Nutrition panels can also provide helpful information if people know what the information means. When it comes to sugar, for example, knowing foods containing over 1 5 grams of sugar per 100 grams are considered â€˜high â€™ in sugar help s people decide whether th atâ€™s a product they want to eat. Similarly for salt, a product with over 4 00mg of sodium per 100 grams is considered high in salt. â€œ Another thing for con sumers to be aware of is that currently it is not possible to distinguish between â€˜added sugarsâ€™ and sugars derived from natural sources, such as dried fruit . It would be great to see this disclosed by manufacturers. â€œ We commend those companies who have already incorporated the voluntary Star Rating System on their packaging including Sanitarium, Uncle Tobys, Coles and Woolworths ,â€ said Ms Martin. Cereal offenders â€“ Whatâ€™s hiding in your cereal? Average sugar content of all 20 cereals analysed was 19.8g per 100g â€“ thatâ€™s almost 20 per cent sugar . This equates to about 5 teaspoons of sugar. Cereals with front-of-pack health claims that also contain high levels of sugar include Kelloggâ€™s Coco Pops (36.5g per 100g) , Kelloggâ€™s Nutri Grain, Kelloggâ€™s Just Right ( 28.7g ) and Uncle Tobyâ€™s Fruity Bites Wild Berry (24.8g) . The cereals with the most sugar were Kelloggâ€™s Frosties(41.3g per 100g),Kelloggâ€™s Froot Loops (38g) and Kelloggâ€™s Coco Pops (36.5g) â€“ all of which are heavily promoted to children. Top 5 cereal brands sold in supermarkets by value (according to Retail World, December 2014) are: Weetbix, Nutri-Grain, Uncle Tobyâ€™s Plus, Coco Pops, and Special K. About the survey In February 2015, the OPC reviewed 20 popular breakfast cereals examining sugar, salt and health claims on the packaging. About the Obesity Policy Coalition The Obesity Policy Coalition is a group of leading public health agencies who are con cerned about the escalating levels of overweight and obesity, particularly in children. The Obesity Policy Coalition is a partnership between Diabetes Australia Vic, Cancer Council Victoria and the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Obesi ty Prevention at Deakin University, with funding from VicHealth.