Companies Hawking Most Unhealthy Cereal to Kids

Apparently kids' cereal is getting more healthy, but advertising focuses on the unhealthy brands

It shouldn't be a surprise that cereal in general isn't very healthy, but a new study found that kids cereals are actually getting healthier. That's the good news.

The bad news? Reuters reports that the most heavily marketed brands are actually the most unhealthy. In 2011, children cereals got $264 million in advertising, with "aggressive marketing" for Reese's Puffs, Kellogg's Froot Loops, and Post's Fruity Pebbles.

These three brands, however, had the highest amount of sugar and the lowest amount of nutritional value.

Instead, healthier cereals like Cheerios and Frosted Mini-Wheats were mostly marketed towards adults, Reuters says.

Luckily, kid-focused cereals in general are cutting down on sugar; before the Council of Better Business Bureaus' Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative was created, some cereals had 15 to 16 grams of sugar per serving. Now, most have 10 grams of sugar a serving, a 30 percent drop.

Unfortunately, 10 grams of sugar is already half the recommended sugar intake for kids, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Even worse? Kids normally eat more than one serving of cereal a morning, meaning "before they leave the house in the morning, children eating these presweetened cereals will have consumed as much sugar as they should eat in an entire day," the report said. Let's just not think about what other snacks kids have at school.