Study reveals benefits of eating cereal for breakfast

by Jeff Gelski
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MINNEAPOLIS — Children who eat cereal for breakfast may have advantages over children who do not in the areas of nutrition, milk consumption and physical activity, according to a study led by the General Mills Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition in Minneapolis. Results were to be published Nov. 21 in Nutrition Research.

Children who consumed cereal in the morning more often ingested nutrients like fiber, iron, folic acid and zinc while ingesting less fat, sodium, sugar and cholesterol. They ingested more milk and thus increased their calcium intake. The study also suggests choosing cereal for breakfast may be a marker to promote healthier behavior beyond nutritious eating, such as daily exercise.

The study drew from the 10-year longitudinal National Heart Lung and Blood Institute Growth and Health Study (NGHS), which recruited 2,379 girls between the ages of 9 and 10. The girls included 1,166 white girls and 1,213 black girls from Berkley, Calif.; Cincinnati and Washington.

"This research strongly suggests that there’s a link between well-rounded childhood nutrition and eating a bowl of cereal regularly for breakfast," said Dr. Ronald E. Kleinman, M.D., in the Department of Pediatrics at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and co-author of the study.

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