The Science Behind Cereal FACTS

Cereal FACTS was developed by the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at Yale University, in consultation with a steering committee of experts in nutrition, marketing, and public health. The research results are based on the best available data on nutrition and food marketing, specifically, the Nutrient Profiling Model developed by Rayner and colleagues at Oxford University and marketing information from Nielsen and comScore, Inc.

Using the same methods as the original Cereal FACTS, the 2012 study examined the nutritional quality of more than 100 brands, as well as 261 individual varieties of cereal marketed to children, families and adults. Researchers also examined the scope of industry advertising on television, the Internet, and social media sites.

The methods are described in full detail in the Cereal FACTS Report and a Cereal FACTS Report Summary. Nutrition scoring methods are also available.  

The public health community must work with the food industry and media companies to achieve population health goals and protect society's most vulnerable citizens, our children.

The Rudd Center completed another study on children’s consumption of low- vs. high-sugar cereals. The study found that when low-sugar cereals are served, children eat the recommended serving size; the table sugar that children add to low-sugar cereals is not nearly as much as the industry adds to high-sugar cereals; and overall breakfast nutrition is better when eating low-sugar cereals due to lower sugar consumption and higher fruit and 100% juice consumption.

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