Fortified breakfast cereals may provide unhealthy amounts of certain nutrients to children, according to a new report from the Environmental Working Group, a health research and advocacy organization.
The group said that "millions of children are ingesting potentially unhealthy amounts" of vitamin A, zinc and niacin, and that fortified breakfast cereals are the main source of this high intake. The three nutrients are added to these cereals in amounts calculated for adults, USA Today reported.
The problem is made worse by outdated nutritional labeling rules and misleading marketing by cereal makers who tout high fortification levels to make their products appear more nutritious, the group said.
Only "a tiny, tiny percentage" of cereal packages have nutrition labels that list age-specific daily values, according to Renee Sharp, director of research at the Environmental Working Group.
"That's misleading to parents and is contributing to the problem," she told USA Today.