Kellogg Improves Nutritional Value of Kids' Snacks

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Kellogg Improves Nutritional Value of Kids' Snacks

Kellogg Co. will increase the nutritional value of the snacks targeted at children or else stop marketing those products to them.

Brands such Pop-Tarts toaster pastries will either be reformulated or dropped from advertising that reaches audiences where at least half of its members are younger than 12. Parents and advocacy groups worried about child obesity had threatened a lawsuit.

Kellogg's cereals and snacks will now meet a standard calling for no more than 200 calories per serving; no trans fat and no more than 2 grams of saturated fat; no more than 230 milligrams of sodium; and no more than 12 grams of sugar, the company announced.

A third of the cereals that Kellogg markets to children in the United States fall outside those standards, according to The Associated Press. Most cereals fall inside the calorie guideline, but meeting the sugar and sodium standards could be the most challenging.

David Mackay, Kellogg's president and chief executive, said the company was taking action because of increasing concerns about marketing to children. Twenty-seven percent of Kellogg's U.S. advertising spending is directed to children younger than 12. The more nutritional food will be sold throughout the world.

The company also plans to make immediate changes to its Web sites for children, including automatic screen time limits and information about healthy lifestyles and nutrition. It will limit images of foods in computer games, downloads and wallpaper.

Battle Creek, Mich.-based Kellogg also is adding nutritional information to the front of its cereal boxes in North America. The summary "Guideline Daily Amounts" is designed to provide a snapshot of how the food fits into a proper diet.

"Wherever possible, implementation of Kellogg's commitments will begin immediately," Mackay said. "All implementation of all commitments will be completed by the end of 2008."

As time passes and eating habits change, Kellogg will continue to evaluate and adjust its products "in a way that meets consumers' needs without sacrificing taste," he said.