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General Mills Study Backs Cereal For Breakfast

Posted Dec 18 2008 8:14pm

Girls who regularly ate breakfast, particularly cereal, were slimmer than those who skipped the morning meal, says a new study from Maryland Medical Research Institute scientists, who tracked 2,400 girls for a decade.

Interesting conclusions.

So the study -- which was published in the September Journal of the American Dietetic Association -- concludes that cereal for breakfast helps you have a lower BMI? Sounds good to me.

In fact, the study's author Bruce Barton, the Maryland Institute's president and CEO concludes that "not eating breakfast is the worst thing you can do, that's really the take-home message for teenage girls."

But why are we just looking at cereal for breakfast? Why not omelettes or tofu or salmon and vegetables and fruit, for that matter.

Well, let's look at who funded this grain-promoting study. Ahah, guess who footed the bill?

None other than General Mills, Inc. and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

Now, this is getting mighty interesting. Within two days, we've learned about two breakfast studies -- both of which just happen to be backed by cereal companies. ( Quaker Oats funded the other study, which I just wrote about yesterday and which found that oatmeal breakfast eaters fare better than Cap'n Crunch eaters.)

Curiously, as Barton observed to CNN, the General Mills study didn't distinguish between low-sugar and high-sugar cereals despite growing evidence that people who consume low-glycemic foods have a lower risk of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Forgive my misgivings and skepticism. But, seriously, what else could you expect if a major cereal maker funds a breakfast study?

To not distinguish between low-sugar and high-sugar cereal is outright scandalous.

When oh when will a non-biased company fund a legitimate breakfast study?

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