Choosing breakfast: How well does packet information on Australian breakfast cereals, bars and drinks reflect recommendations?

Julie Lorraine Woods, Karen Zell Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: To survey nutrient information and claims appearing on packets of breakfast foods (cereals, bars and drinks) and determine how they conform to dietary guidelines and labelling recommendations. Methods: A cross-sectional study based on data collected in Augusta??September 2004 was conducted in a single large supermarket in metropolitan Melbourne. The main outcome measures are cost, nutrient content, fortification, nutrition and function-related claims. Nutrient content with current recommendations, stated versus calculated energy content and consistency of claims made with current regulations and guidelines were analysed. Results: One hundred and eighty-two cereals, 27 bars and 10 drinks were analysed. Only two of six breakfast cereal categories exhibited mean nutrient profiles concordant with present recommendations. Breakfast bars provide more total fat, saturated fat and sugar, while breakfast drinks provide more energy, sugar and sodium, than a serve of cereal eaten with full-cream milk. Bars and drinks were more expensive per gram of protein and per kilojoule than the breakfast cereals. On 15 of cereal labels, stated energy content differed by over 5 from that calculated from the given macronutrients. Fortification with vitamins and minerals was common. Nutrient claims were largely consistent with current regulations. Conclusion: This survey provides baseline data against which future changes in nutrient and health claims and patterns of fortification in breakfast foods may be measured.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)226 - 233
Number of pages8
JournalNutrition and Dietetics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Cite this