Cheerios Protein: hardly any extra protein, but seventeen times more sugar than the original

Cheerios Protein is being marketed as a high-protein breakfast for kids (complete with thrilling TV ads with NASCAR racers). The reality is quite something else. It only contains “a smidgen more protein” than the original. But it has 17 times the amount of sugar!

This just landed General Mills a well-deserved class action law suit for false marketing:

CSPI: “Cheerios Protein” Has Negligibly More Protein, but Far More Sugar, than Original Cheerios


Placing a Cap on Americans’ Consumption of Added Sugar

US Premiere of the Movie Sugar Coated – Watch It Online

The Sugar Ghost: An Ingredient That Haunts Our Food and Threatens Our Children


  1. Elizabeth
    Cheerios has been used for at least 12 years as a snack for babies. It is supposed to be "good" for them. The more I understand what is going on in the world, the more disgusted I get. The people "in charge" should be arrested. At least a law suit is in the right direction.
    I appreciate the work you are doing with to expose this travesty. You are saving lives.
  2. Stipetic
    Good thing to know about the Cheerios (though they haven't seen my pantry is years), but for your sanity, Andreas, you should keep clear of CSPI. They are the kangaroo court of nutritional science, and as you likely know, they are the ones who put together the list of "scientists/dinosaurs" who are petitioning BMJ to retract Nina Teicholz's article. If you want info from someone more trustworthy, I'd suggest Andrew Wakefield. :-)
    Reply: #5
  3. RT
    I agree with Stipetic. In their "Nutrition Action Healthletter," CSPI tends to mix fact and fiction in an apparent effort to drive home the message that we shouldn't be eating any animal products. For example, in one recent issue they blur the distinction between processed and unprocessed meat in an " expert" interview designed to convince us that red meat is deadly. They are propagandists, basically the latter-day version of 19th century temperance activists.
    Reply: #4
  4. smc
    I agree with both Stipetic and RT. The CSPI is not a reliable source for any scientific information. They are a political advocacy group. This time they happened to get it right, but it is best not to trust any of their pronouncements.
  5. Bjarte Bakke Team Diet Doctor
    Thanks for the input Stipetic (and RT). Do you feel linking to CSPI for this particular story reduces our trustworthiness or are you suggesting we never, ever, link to anything by CSPI? We'd appreciate feedback on other ways we can increase our trustworthiness.

    Bjarte - Team Diet Doctor

  6. RT
    I trust this site's assessment of evidence, and I wouldn't say that every single thing CSPI says is bogus, particularly their criticism of sugar- laden products such as breakfast cereals. However, I find their overall approach to be characterized by disingenuous arguments designed to convince people that, for example, saturated fat per se is dangerous. They were the ones who championed trans fats in the late 1980s, ignoring or disputing evidence that they were dangerous. They studiously ignore this fact as they boast about how they have championed the elimination of trans fats in restaurants, etc. It is ironic that they were the ones who had a major role in creating the problem in the first place by pressuring restaurant chains in the U.S. to replace animal fats with trans fats. I would suggest having a look at their " nutrition action Healthletter" if you can get a copy, to get a better idea of their tactics. Basically, if they say something that is truly evidence- based I wouldn't say don't mention it, but I would avoid them as a source if possible. They tend to mix facts with BS, apparently hoping the BS isn't noticed.
  7. RT
    I'm afraid my composition style above is a bit repetitive...sorry. In any case, here is an interesting article on the CSPI trans fat revisionism mentioned above.
  8. Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt, MD Team Diet Doctor
    Yeah, I'm no great fan of everything that CSPI has done, the trans fat thing was a disaster for example. But at least I think that they are always trying to do the right thing, even if they are still stuck in some fat phobia dogma.
    Replies: #9, #13
  9. Apicius
    I agree with the anti CSPI comments. Those guys are crazy wrong with many other topics on food. Is it possible they get "one" right opinion out of hundreds?...yes. Would you promote a message from Hitler stating "kids, stay off drugs and stay in school"? No, of course not. The viewers of this blog range from well-informed to novice. My concern is that for the novice that are just learning and exploring LCHF get led to CSPI documents, which increase the resistance to learning about LCHF.
  10. Stipetic
    No, I don't think you should never, ever quote from them. I'm not into censorship (unlike CSPI, actually; see how they are trying to silence Nina Teicholz and the LCHF revolution!). I just commented so that others who may not be familiar with these folks know that their information, to say nothing about their tactics, is less than trustworthy. And I was extending a little warning not to get too involved with Michael Jacobson et al. It can drive you bonkers.
  11. RT
    Well, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree, doctor.
    Except perhaps for their stance on things like HFCS, I cannot see CSPI's idea of "doing the right thing" as anything but ill- conceived pressure tactics based on crackpot pseudoscience. I wouldn't be surprised if they called for a special tax on red meat and butter in order to quell consumption. That said, I of course respect your right to cite any source you see fit to.
    Reply: #12
  12. Murray
    Freedom of speech does not imply freedom from critical debate.
  13. smc
    I hope we never reach a point in scientific debate where we excuse error with the statement "they were trying to do the right thing." Science should be the process of differentiating truth from non-truth. In the nutritional debate certainly, it is critical that we get it right.

    Whatever their intentions, noble or otherwise, CSPI has been wrong about too much to consider them a credible source of scientific information. Read their pronouncements if you will, but always be skeptical.

  14. RT
    I agree with smc. Moreover, as much as I respect Dr. Eenfeldt and his efforts with this website, I must say that to say that CSPI is "stuck in some fat phobia dogma" is a massive understatement. As has already been mentioned, but is worth reiterating, CSPI is the engine driving the retraction demand on Nina Teicholz's article in BMJ. One look at an issue of CSPI's "Nutrition Action Healthletter" makes it abundantly clear that they are not merely "stuck in some fat phobia," but rather are making the fat phobia - particularly of saturated fats and animal products generally - absolutely central to their message. In order to do this, they routinely misrepresent and misinterpret scientific evidence. The core of their message to the public is essentially not science-based, even if they get a few things right. I wouldn't ban assertions by them from the site, but I wouldn't use them as a source unless it were completely unavoidable. How many people have gotten sick on trans fats because of their narrow- minded, pseudoscientific idiocy? They might as well be flat earth theorists.
  15. Troy
    Steer clear of CSPI. Your credibility lends them credibility when you cite or reference them. Don't do that.

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