Cereal box claims called into question

By Morgan Chesky - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Kellogg's, the nation's largest cereal maker, is now being asked to back up some of it's cereal box claims. Last May, the company rolled out several brands of cereal with added vitamins, the boxes advertised, to help support children's immune systems. But, some feel it claims better business and not your child's breakfast.

A line splashed across a cereal box made up of six words that promise mother Carri Kennedy a lot.

"I'm going to pick up the box and read it because it says it helps my child's immunity," said Kennedy.

Four brands of Kellogg's cereal now offer increased levels of four vitamins to help boost kids' immune systems.

"They're trying to make a profit and there's nothing wrong with boosting children's immunity when swine flu's out," said Nicole Norton. "So, I'm glad that they're concerned about the children."

Dr. Paul Sharkey, with the University of Texas Health Science Center, says his concern is with the parents who believe it.

"I think probably there's a little false advertising going on," said Sharkey. "Just adding vitamins doesn't mean necessarily that you're going to be absorbing them right."

He added that the cereal's claim of 25% of your daily value in vitamins doesn't mean much.

Kellogg's answered the critics, stating, "These nutrients have been identified by the Institute of Medicine and other studies as playing an important role in the body's immune system. Therefore, we believe the claim...is supported by reliable and competent scientific evidence."

"If you like this cereal and you're going to get it anyway, go ahead and get it, but, if you're getting it because you think you're boosting your immune system then that's not very likely," said Sharkey. "A more balanced diet with fruits and veggies and meats with some exercise would do a lot more to boost your immune system than eating extra cereal."

"I don't want to feed my child added vitamins with tar or Clorox or anything else there just bad chemicals in here that I don't want my child having," said Kennedy. "I don't care how many vitamins you put in there with it I'm not going to feed it to my child."

The FDA is responsible for handling for any false, or misleading food labels. Kellogg's claims have yet to be addressed.

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