Are Canadian Supermarkets Promoting Healthy Cereal?

healthy cereal

A recent study determines the frequency at which Canadian supermarkets promote healthy and less healthy cereals for breakfast.

More than one in nine Canadian children are currently classed as obese. Past research has demonstrated that obesity is linked to the consumption of unhealthy food and since supermarkets are where most food spending occurs, they influence our purchasing and consumption of foods.

Staggering Amount of Cereals Have High Sugar Content

Breakfast cereals are frequently advertised as being healthy. However, much research has provided evidence that shows that this simply is not the case. Many breakfast cereals are strongly targeted towards children. An analysis of these breakfast cereals advertised to children and sold in Canadian supermarkets found that 93% of these cereals had a high sugar content.

A recent study carried out in Canada and published in BMC Public Health examined the frequency of promotions for breakfast cereals in Canadian supermarkets. The researchers analysed if less healthy breakfast cereals were being promoted in these supermarkets more than healthy cereals.

Less Healthy Cereals Displayed More

The results of the study showed that 29.8% of the 225 cereals were classified as healthier and 70.2% were classified as less healthy. The results also highlighted that less healthy cereals were displayed at eye level and were displayed 2.9 times more than healthier cereals.

This study has demonstrated that changes are needed in these supermarket chains in Canada, in an attempt to encourage the purchase and consumption of healthier breakfast cereals. In addition to this, stakeholders need to work to help change this environment. Governments and public health officials also have a role in working with these supermarkets to encourage the promotion of healthier food products, and thus need to think of strategies to give incentives to these supermarkets to promote healthier breakfast cereals.

Written by Jade Marie Evans, MPharm, Medical Writer

Reference: Kent et al . (2017). Less healthy breakfast cereals are promoted more frequently in large supermarket chains in Canada. Available: https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-017-4886-3. Last accessed 26th Nov 2017.

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