Sugary Treats or Cereal Offenders?

Schwartz reported the kids' cereals were higher in sugar per serving, higher in calories and lower in "things you would want, like fiber."

"The question to the industry would be, why are you taking your most poor product, nutritionally, and marketing it to children?" said Schwartz.

So, what is a parent to do, if their children won't give up those high-sugar cereals?

"We've also encouraged parents to use a smaller bowl and to really watch the portion sizes," said Williams. "You may even want to measure to make sure your child is getting a serving of cereal, not two or three servings."

The magazine also notes that some of the cereals have undergone name changes to make them sound healthier. Sugar Smacks is now Honey Smacks. Super Sugar Crisp has become Super Golden Crisp. And some of the same cereals sold in the U.S. have versions that are sold overseas with less sugar and sodium.

It's not only children who have to worry about these breakfast cereals. About 58 percent of "children's" cereals are eaten by people over age 18, according to the magazine. So, even those who might not care about the cartoon character on the box need to pay attention to what's inside.

RATED VERY GOOD

1. Cheerios (General Mills)

2. Kix (General Mills)

3. Life (Quaker Oats)

4. Honey Nut Cheerios (General Mills)

RATED GOOD

5. Frosted Mini-Wheats Bite Size (Kellogg's)

6. Frosted Flakes Gold (Kellogg's)

7. Cookie Crisp (General Mills)

8. Golden Grahams Honey Graham (General Mills)

9. Lucky Charms (General Mills)

10. Cocoa Puffs (General Mills)

11. Cinnamon Toast Crunch (General Mills)

12. Trix (General Mills)

13. Reese's Puffs (General Mills)

14. Fruity Pebbles (Post)

15. Honey-Comb (Post)

16. Cocoa Pebbles (Post)

17. Frosted Flakes (Kellogg's)

18. Cocoa Krispies (Kellogg's)

19. Frosted Flakes Reduced Sugar (Kellogg's)

RATED FAIR

20. Cap'n Crunch's Peanut Butter Crunch (Quaker Oats)

21. Cap'n Crunch (Quaker Oats)

22. Rice Krispies (Kellogg's)

23. Apple Jacks (Kellogg's)

24. Froot Loops (Kellogg's)

25. Golden Crisp (Post)

26. Honey Smacks (Kellogg's)

27. Corn Pops (Kellogg's)

Source: Consumer Reports, Nov. 2008

Additional reporting by Kirk Fernandes in Boston

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