Kellogg's and General Mills Products May Overexpose Children to Vitamins and Mineral According to EWG

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By Ryan Inoyori | June 25, 2014 3:22 PM EST

Cereals have been pushed to become healthier and now a new report revealed that fortified breakfast cereals may pose danger to kids on getting too much of the good thing. Famous brands Kellogg's and General Mills have been included in the report.

Overexposure to Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins and minerals work together to improve and repair the body but too much can impose some negative impact. A new report from the Environmental Working Group or EWG in Washington revealed that fortified cereals may potentially expose millions of children on taking unhealthy amounts of vitamin A, niacin and zinc.

"Routinely ingesting too much vitamin A from foods such as liver or supplements can over time lead to liver damage, skeletal abnormalities, peeking skin, brittle nails and hair loss. These effects can be short-term or long lasting," according to EWG report.

In addition to the negative impact of consuming too much vitamins and minerals, EWG also revealed the two major reasons how children are able to consume excessive nutrients in food.

1.      Food manufacturers discovered that adding nutrients and putting health claims on packaging sells products, which has made voluntary fortification of certain types of foods ubiquitous.

2.      FDA's outdated dietary Daily Values on Nutrition Facts labels are based on adult dietary needs. They were set in 1968 - more than 40 years ago - when the primary concerns were still nutritional deficiencies.

EWG Latest Report

Current actions of FDA on updating nutrition facts labels appearing on most food packages seem to be unable to properly address the issue of over-consumption of fortified food products such as cereals based on EWG report.

Data shows that several popular food brans may overexpose children on too much vitamin A, niacin and zinc. Some of these products are listed below:

Cereal Product

Zinc

Niacin

Vitamin A

Food Club Essential Choice Bran Flakes

Yes

Yes

No

Food Lion Enriched Bran Flakes Cereal

Yes

Yes

No

General Mills Total Raisin Bran

Yes

Yes

No

General Mills Total Whole Grain

Yes

Yes

No

Giant Eagle Bran Flakes

Yes

Yes

No

Kashi U 7 Whole Grain Flakes & Granola with Currants & Walnuts

No

No

Yes with milk

Kellogg's Krave, Chocolate (single 1.87 oz serving in a plastic container

No

No

Yes

Kellogg's All-Bran Complete, Wheat Flakes

Yes

Yes

No

Kellogg's Product 19

Yes

Yes

No

Kemach Whole Wheat Flakes Cereal

Yes

Yes

No

Roundy's Bran Flakes

Yes

Yes

No

Kellogg spokesperson Kris Charles countered EWG report about ignoring certain aspect of the science and consumption information among cereal products.

"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 and minerals in their diets," Charles stated as quoted by AZFamily.

Professor of nutrition at Tufts University, Susan Roberts, said that there is no evidence of massive health issues caused by exceeding levels of nutrients and it is more on the unnecessary, not health-promoting and in some individual cases may be causing toxic problems.

EWG recommends that parents give their children products with no more than 20 to 25 per cent of the adult Daily Value for vitamin A, zinc and niacin. Click here for the full report from EWG.

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