Cereal may have too many vitamins for children: Fortified foods questioned

Lana Bandoim's picture
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A new study is questioning the amount of vitamins and minerals in fortified cereals and suggests that children may be receiving an adult dose. The Environmental Working Group report reveals that it studied multiple cereals that contain too much niacin, vitamin A and zinc. The group mentions that children need smaller amounts of these nutrients, but the FDA and cereal brands are not making the necessary changes.

Fortified cereal dangers for children

Although the addition of vitamins and minerals to food is generally considered a positive step, it is possible to have too many nutrients that can affect children. They require specific amounts of niacin, vitamin A and zinc that differ from adult needs. Children that consume too many vitamins and minerals are in danger of having liver problems and other issues that can range from skin rashes to nausea.

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The Environmental Working Group has discovered 23 cereals with too many added nutrients that are not in the correct amount for children because the FDA has not updated labels for decades. Children can easily consume cereal in amounts that go beyond safe levels for certain vitamins and minerals. The list includes Kellogg's Cocoa Krispies, General Mills Wheaties Fuel, Food Lion Whole Grain 100 Cereal and others.

Response to questions about fortified cereal

Kellogg's has stated that fortified cereals provide important nutrients that are often missing from the diets of both children and adults. The brand’s representative mentions that most of the 23 cereals found to have too much niacin, vitamin A and zinc are not targeted to children, and they may not be at risk. However, the Environmental Working Group suggests that parents carefully watch the amount of cereal their children consume on a daily basis to make sure they do not exceed safe levels for certain vitamins and minerals.

Image: Evan-Amos/Wikimedia Commons

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