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Characterization of Breakfast Cereals Available in the Mexican Market: Sodium and Sugar Content
Rincon-Gallardo Patiño, Sofia
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Preschool Mexican children consume 7% of their total energy intake from processed breakfast cereals. This study characterized the nutritional quality and labelling (claims and Guideline Daily Amount (GDA)) of the packaged breakfast cereals available in the Mexican market. Photographs of all breakfast cereals available in the 9 main food retail chains in the country were taken. The nutrition quality of cereals was assessed using the United Kingdom Nutrient Profiling Model (UKNPM). Claims were classified using the International Network for Food and Obesity/non-communicable Diseases Research, Monitoring and Action Support (INFORMAS) taxonomy and the GDA was defined according to the Mexican regulation, NOM-051. Overall, a total of 371 different breakfast cereals were analysed. The nutritional profile showed that 68.7% were classified as “less healthy”. GDAs and claims were displayed more frequently on the “less healthy” cereals. Breakfast cereals within the “less healthy” category had significantly higher content of energy, sugar and sodium (p < 0.001). Most of the claims were displayed in the “less healthy” cereals (n = 313). This study has shown that there is a lack of consistency between the labelling on the front of the pack and the nutritional quality of breakfast cereals.