The Cheerios Sugar Factor

Like many people, I often eat cereal for breakfast. When my wife went on a no-sugar diet a while back, it wreaked havoc on our cereal eating habit because, you see, most breakfast cereals are stuffed with sugar or high fructose corn syrup.

Reading the nutrition labels, however, taught me something interesting: Cheerios has by far the lowest sugar content of any cereal we eat. While shopping, I found myself in disbelief, telling random people in the super market, “Do you know this stuff has twelve times as much sugar as Cheerios?” I started calling it the Cheerios Factor.

To give you an idea, here is a list of some breakfast cereals and their sugar content. Full nutrition information is available online from General Mills, Kellog’s and Quaker. However, Post prefers to summarize it for you.

Cereal Serving Size Sugar Factor
Apple Jacks 28g 12g 12.0x
Froot Loops 29g 12g 11.6x
Lucky Charms 27g 11g 11.4x
Frosted Flakes 30g 11g 10.3x
Golden Grahms 31g 11g 9.9x
Cinnamon Toast Crunch 31g 10g 9.0x
Honey Nut Cheerios 28g 9g 9.0x
Raisin Bran 59g 19g 9.0x
Cinnamon Life 32g 8g 7.0x
Honey Bunches of Oats 30g 7g 6.5x
Multigrain Cheerios 27g 6g 6.2x
Frosted Mini Wheats 51g 10g 5.5x
Life 32g 6g 5.3x
Total 30g 5g 4.7x
Wheaties 27g 4g 4.1x
Special K 31g 4g 3.6x
Rice Krispies 33g 4g 3.4x
Corn Flakes 28g 3g 3.0x
Kix 30g 3g 2.8x
Corn Chex 31g 3g 2.7x
Rice Chex 27g 2g 2.1x
Grape-Nuts 58g 4g 1.9x
Cheerios 28g 1g 1.0x
Fiber One 30g 0g None

Yes, Cheerios has half the sugar of Grape-Nuts. The only cereal I’ve found that beats Cheerios at its own game is Fiber One, which I’ve never actually eaten.

— — The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a non-profit consumer advocacy group, filed a class action lawsuit against General Mills Monday, alleging the cereal manufacturer is misleading customers about one of its latest products, Cheerios Protein. In the federal class action suit, filed in the Northern District of California, CSPI cites its side-by-side comparison of Original Cheerios and Cheerios Protein as evidence that General Mills is marketing Cheerios Protein as a “high protein, healthful alternative to Cheerios” when it does not contain much more protein than Original Cheerios. “Rather than protein, the principal ingredient that distinguishes Cheerios Protein from Cheerios is sugar,” the suit says. The Nutrition Facts Panel on the boxes cite a 4 gram difference in protein (7 for Cheerios Protein as opposed to 3 for the original) — a “smidgen” — but the suit attributes that to a larger serving size (55 grams as opposed to 27 respectively). For the same 200 calories, CSPI found a mere .7 gram difference between Cheerios Protein Oats and Honey (6.7 grams) and Original Cheerios (6 grams), the suit says. The court documents also contend that Cheerios Protein has significantly more sugar than Original Cheerios. A 1 1/4-cup serving of Cheerios Protein Oats and Honey has 17 grams as opposed to 1 gram for a 1 cup serving of original Cheerios, the suit says. A 1 1/4 –cup serving of the Cinnamon Almond variety has 16 grams, according to the documents. Advertising for Cheerios Protein says it’s a “great start to your day” along with pictures of “appealing photographic images depicting healthy and successful kids and parents,” the claim says. “These claims and images are part of a sophisticated marketing campaign to encourage parents to purchase Cheerios Protein for their children; and the sweet taste of the product helps ensure that children will eat the product,” the suit says. “People are being cheated. Not only is General Mills giving you so much more sugar, they’re also charging you more for this product,” said CSPI Executive Director Michael Jacobson, in an interview with ABC News’ Jim Avila. ABC News also found Cheerios Protein Oats and Honey also has more sugar than every other variety of Cheerios on the market with 10.2 grams for a 3/4 cup serving. Apple Cinnamon Cheerios has the second most with 10 grams and third is Cheerios Protein Cinnamon Almond at 9.6 grams. Frosted Cheerios, Fruity Cheerios and Chocolate Cheerios have 9 grams each, the calculations found. In a statement to ABC News, General Mills said, “An equal amount of Cheerios Protein contains 18 percent more protein by weight than original Cheerios. Original Cheerios does contain 3 grams of protein per serving – and it’s clearly a great cereal choice. But it doesn’t meet the FDA requirement as a good source of protein. Cheerios Protein contains 7 grams of protein per serving – and it does qualify as a good source of high-quality protein under the FDA standard. Cheerios Protein is accurately labeled – and provides a good source of protein in every labeled serving.” They did not, however, respond to repeated questions about the amount of sugar it contains.

Are Cheerios Healthy?

Whole Grains and Iron Make This a Healthy Breakfast


Sending your kids off to school with a wholesome breakfast doesn’t just stave off hunger pangs until snacktime; it will also help them perform their best at school. And while your Instagram feed might be full of superfood-packed oatmeal and meticulously crafted smoothie bowls, the best breakfast is one you have time to get on the table every day. With virtually n0 preparation needed, Cheerios fit the bill – and they’re full of nutrients that will benefit your family.

Cheerios: The Nutrition Basics

As an unsweetened cereal, Cheerios are a healthy option that is relatively low in calories. Each 1-cup serving has just 105 calories. As long as you practice portion control, it will be tough to take in too many calories at breakfast. Most of those calories come from carbs – Cheerios have 21 grams per serving – but you’ll also get a small amount of protein, about 3 grams per serving. Each serving of Cheerios has less than 2 grams of fat, so they fit into a low-fat heart-healthy diet.

Dietary Fiber for Healthy Digestion

Cheerios are made using whole-grain flour, which means they’re a good source of dietary fiber. While fiber is a type of carbohydrate, it doesn’t break down like other carbs – so instead of using fiber for energy like you would sugar or starch, it passes through your system to help with digestion. Eating a high-fiber diet also promotes cardiovascular health, and fiber is also filling, so it can keep you (and your child) from feeling hungry and overeating later. A serving of Cheerios has almost 3 grams of dietary fiber. That’s 12 percent of your daily fiber requirements, and up to 16 percent of your children’s fiber needs, depending on their gender and age.

Enriched With Iron and Calcium

Cheerios also contain added minerals to make them more nutritious, and as a result, they’re a great source of calcium and iron. Calcium is known to nourish your bones, which helps you maintain bone density as you age, and also helps keep your children’s bones healthy as they grow. Iron is important for supplying cells and tissues with the oxygen they need to function, and serving iron-rich food helps you have the energy to get through an active day. A serving of Cheerios contains 112 milligrams of calcium and 9.3 milligrams of iron. That’s about half your iron requirements and 11 percent of your daily calcium needs, up to 16 percent of your child’s calcium needs (depending on their age), and up to 100 percent of their iron needs, depending on age and gender.

Watch out for Added Sugar

While regular Cheerios should be more than welcome in a healthy diet, the flavored varieties should be eaten sparingly, if at all, due to their added sugar content. Honey Nut Cheerios, for instance, contain almost 23 grams of carbohydrates and 9 grams of sugar, compared to just 1 gram of sugar in plain Cheerios. Even healthy-sounding Multigrain Cheerios have added sugar, and contain 6 grams of sugar per serving. If your child wants more sweetness with their cereal, use fresh fruit like bananas, apples or berries for flavor – but steer clear of the flavored Cheerio varieties at the grocery store.

The 13 best low-sugar cereals for kids

There’s a reason cereal is a breakfast staple. It’s quick. It’s easy. And there’s no denying its deliciousness. But due to the amount of sugar some cereals contain — particularly ones marketed toward children — it isn’t always the best choice for kids. In addition to high-sugar diets being linked to obesity, Type 2 diabetes and cavities, too much sugar can have an impact on how kids perform at school when it’s consumed first thing in the morning.

“When kids consume a lot of sugar for breakfast, it reduces their ability to concentrate in class and increases irritability throughout the day, as their blood sugar spikes and then crashes,” says Lorraine Kearney, nutritionist and founder of New York City Nutrition.

Does this mean you need to clear out the breakfast shelf in your pantry forever? Not necessarily. But you may want to restock it with low-sugar cereals. According to Katharine Jeffcoat, a registered dietician at Portland Pediatric & Family Nutrition, there are four key things to look for when choosing the best cereal for kids:

  1. Whole grains. “Parents should look for the first ingredient to be whole grain oats or wheat flour,” says Jeffcoat.

  2. Fiber. Cereals should have 3 grams or more of fiber per serving.

  3. Sugar. Total added sugar should be 6 grams or less per serving.

  4. Protein. Protein should be 3 grams or more per serving.

“For children ages 6 to 8, the recommendation for total added sugar per day is under 40 grams to meet the dietary guidelines of 10% or less of added sugar,” says Jeffcoat. “I encourage parents to limit sugar at breakfast to 10 grams or less to stay at or below their child’s daily added sugar recommendation.”

And for younger kids (ages 2 to 5), the number is a lot lower at 25 grams per day.

Wondering about the best low-sugar cereal for kids? Here are 13 delicious options.

Classic cereals

1. Cheerios

Image via Cheerios

According to Jeffcoat, regular Cheerios are “always an excellent choice.”

  • Whole grains: Made with whole grain oats, at least 14 grams

  • Fiber: 3 grams

  • Sugar: 1 gram

  • Protein: 4 grams

2. Shredded Wheat Original

Image via Post Consumer Brands

Not only is it delicious, but Original Shredded Wheat is a top-notch breakfast choice.

  • Whole grains: Made with whole grain wheat

  • Fiber: 8 grams

  • Sugar: 0 grams

  • Protein: 7 grams

3. Wheat Chex

Image via Chex

Another cereal Jeffcoat recommends is Wheat Chex.

  • Whole grains: Made with whole grain wheat, 41 grams

  • Fiber: 6 grams

  • Sugar: 5 grams

  • Protein: 5 grams

4. Kix

Image via Kix Cereal

“Kid-tested, mother approved.” Who didn’t love Kix as a child? Parents looking for a low-sugar cereal for their kids — or a great dry snack on the go — can feel comfy passing on this breakfast from their childhood. A splash of their favorite milk will up the protein.

  • Whole grain: Made with whole grain corn

  • Fiber: 3 grams

  • Sugar: 3 grams

  • Protein: 2 grams

5. Grape-Nuts

Image via Post Consumer Brands

When it comes to classic cereals with nutritional power, it’s hard to top Grape-Nuts.

“I’ve been eating it for years, but now my 4-year-old son loves Grape-Nuts, too,” says Amy Copeland, of Vineland, New Jersey. “Sometimes we mix it up by spooning it onto yogurt instead of using milk.”

  • Whole grains: Made with whole grain wheat flour and malted barley flour

  • Fiber: 7 grams

  • Sugar: 5 grams

  • Protein: 6 grams

6. Barbara’s Multigrain Spoonfuls

Image via Barbara’s

Another favorite of Jeffcoat’s — Barbara’s Multigrain Spoonfuls.

  • Whole grains: Made with whole grain oats and whole grain wheat flour

  • Fiber: 4 grams

  • Sugar: 5 grams

  • Protein: 3 grams

Organic and/or non-GMO cereals

7. Nature’s Path Qi’a Cocoa Coconut Superflakes

Image via Nature’s Path

One cereal Jeffcoat always has in her pantry is Nature’s Path Qi’a Cocoa Coconut Superflakes — and with good reason. It’s super healthy and the cocoa and coconut make it delicious.

  • Whole grains: Made with sprouted grains (sprouted black bean flour, sprouted brown rice flour), 35 grams

  • Fiber: 6 grams

  • Sugar: 6 grams

  • Protein: 6 grams

8. Purely Elizabeth Original Ancient Grain Granola

Image via Purely Elizabeth

Baked with coconut oil and sweetened with coconut sugar (a low-glycemic sweetener), it’s hard to go wrong with Purely Elizabeth Ancient Grain Granola. Also, it’s super tasty to kids and adults alike.

“My kids and I are all obsessed with the Purely Elizabeth granolas,” says Rebecca Ingraham, of New Paltz, New York. “My 3-year-old daughter says they ‘taste like a treat.’ Works for me!”

To add in a little extra fiber, try adding them on top of a nutrient-rich smoothie!

  • Whole grains: Made with organic gluten-free oats

  • Fiber: 2 grams

  • Sugar: 6 grams

  • Protein: 3 grams

9. Cascadian Farm Purely O’s

Image via Cascadian Farm

Whole grain oats as the first ingredient? Check. Crunchy taste kids love? Check. Cascadian Farm Purely O’s cereal is great for parents who are looking for an organic version of their beloved Cheerios.

  • Whole grains: Made with whole grain oats and whole grain barley, 31 grams

  • Fiber: 4 grams

  • Sugar: 1 gram

  • Protein: 4 grams

10. Nature’s Path Heritage Flakes

Image via Nature’s Path

Made with six ancient grains (grains that haven’t changed over the last several hundred years) and a “crunch that keeps,” Nature’s Path Heritage Flakes are a way to start the day.

  • Whole grains: Made with kamut khorasan wheat, oats, barley, spelt, millet and quinoa

  • Fiber: 7 grams

  • Sugar: 5 grams

  • Protein: 5 grams

11. Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Grain Crunchy Cereal in Golden Flax

Image via Food for Life

No matter what your life views are, it’s hard to argue with the nutritional value of Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Grain Crunchy Cereal in Golden Flax. Not only does it pair great with cold milk and berries, it packs serious crunch.

  • Whole grains: Made with a number of whole grains, including sprouted wheat, flax seeds, barley and millet

  • Fiber: 6 grams

  • Sugar: 0 grams

  • Protein: 8 grams

Hot cereals

12. Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut Oats

Image via Bob’s Red Mill

Cereal comes in all shapes, sizes — and temperatures. When the weather cools down, opt for warm cereals, oatmeals, and porridges, like Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut Oats.

“When choosing rolled oats, try sticking to ones that aren’t flavored,” says Kearney. “Many of the packets of instant oatmeal are high in added sugars and artificial flavors and should be avoided. Instead prepare a batch of steel cut oats at the start of the week and add mashed banana and raw cacao powder for a chocolate banana flavor.”


  • Whole grains: Made with whole grain oats (and nothing else!)

  • Fiber: 5 grams

  • Sugar: 1 gram

  • Protein: 5 grams

13. Quaker Simple and Wholesome Oatmeal

Image via Quaker Oats

It’s a classic for a reason: Quaker does oatmeal well. And not only is Quaker Simple and Wholesome Oatmeal great because it’s super low in sugar, it’s also organic and customizable, giving everyone the opportunity to create their favorite breakfast, taste- and nutrition-wise.

  • Whole grains: Made with whole grain oats, barley, buckwheat, rye and flaxseed, 32 grams

  • Sugar: 1 gram

  • Fiber: 1 gram

  • Protein: 4 grams

Cheerios Protein Cereal Cinnamon Almond

14.1 OZ BOX

Marketing Description

Cheerios™ Protein Cinnamon Almond Cereal.
General Mills.
Per 1 1/4 cup serving.
220 calories.
0.5g sat fat 3% DV.
220mg sodium 9% DV.
16g sugars.
See nutrition facts for “as prepared” information.
11g protein with milk.
Sweetened whole grain corn and oat cereal with crunchy almond granola clusters and real cinnamon.

Other Description

A great start to your day!
Good source of protein.
11g with milk.
Good source of fiber 3g.
27g whole grain*.
13 vitamins & minerals.
Whole Grain™.
27g or more per serving.
Eat 48g or more of whole grains daily.
*At least 48 grams recommended daily.
A whole grain food is made by using all three parts of the grain. All General Mills big g cereals contain more whole grain than any other single ingredient.
Our mission is nourishing lives®.
We guarantee your satisfaction with the quality of our products, and we are committed to nourishing lives, to protecting our environment and to giving back to our global communities.
Kick-start your day with long-lasting energy!
What would you do with long-lasting energy?
Start your school day right?
Go to the beach for a splash?
Give a spontaneous shoulder ride?
Long-lasting energy your whole family will love!
You can see the energy when you pour a bowl of Cheerios protein. Our toasted whole grain O’s, combined with real cinnamon and crunchy almond granola clusters come together in delicious harmony that will help keep you going. Your whole family will love kick-starting the day with long-lasting energy that is irresistibly delicious.
Exchange: 2 1/2 starch, 1/2 fat.
Based on Academy Nutrition and Dietetics and American Diabetes Association criteria.
This package is sold by weight, not by volume. You can be assured of proper weight even though some settling of contents normally occurs during shipment and handling.
Paper – box. Recycle if clean & dry.
Store drop-off. Plastic – bag.
100% Recycled Paperboard™.
©2014 General Mills.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1

Servings per Container: 7


Whole Grain Corn, Cluster (Whole Grain Oats, Sugar, Soy Protein Isolate, Almonds, Soy Flour, Corn Syrup, Canola Oil, Wheat Flour, Graham Wheat Flour, Tapioca Starch, Molasses, Salt, Soy Lecithin, Honey, Baking Soda, Natural Flavor. Vitamin E (mixed Tocopherols) and Oil of Rosemary added to preserve freshness. ), Sugar, Whole Grain Oats, Canola and/or Rice Bran Oil, Refiner’s Syrup, Cinnamon, Salt, Color Added, Corn Bran, Trisodium Phosphate, L-Lysine, Natural Flavor. Vitamin E (mixed Tocopherols) and BHT added to preserve freshness.


Contains soy, almond and wheat ingredients.


General Mils Sales Inc
Minneapolis, MN 55440 USA


Package Data

Length: 2.22 IN
Height: 10.32 IN
Width: 7.69 IN
Weight: 1.06 LB

Units In Package: 1
Package Type: BOX
Package Size: 14.1 OZ
Net Weight: 14.1 OZ

Is Cheerios Protein A Sugar Bomb With Just A Smidge More Protein?

Cheerios Protein is much higher in sugar than the original Cheerios, and has about the same amount… of protein. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

General Mills is flat out deceiving consumers with its Cheerios Protein cereal, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) charged in a false advertising/misleading-labeling lawsuit it filed this week. From the complaint:

General Mills falsely and misleadingly markets Cheerios Protein to children and adults as a high protein, healthful alternative to Cheerios.

According to CSPI, General Mills is engaging in some sleight of hand. The recommended serving size for Cheerios Protein is 55 grams, whereas the serving size for the original Cheerios is 28 grams. When the serving size difference is taken into account, and the cereals are compared purely by calories, 200 calories’ worth of Cheerios Protein has only 7/10th of a gram more protein than 200 calories’ worth of Cheerios.

Even if one ignores the serving size difference and compares the protein content of both cereals via their Nutrition Facts panels, the difference is unimpressive. Cheerios Protein has 7 grams of protein per serving while the original Cheerios has 3 grams. An additional 4 grams of protein will hardly make a dent in most consumers’ diets. WebMD lists the following daily protein intake recommendations for men, women and children:

  • School-age kids need 19-34 grams a day.
  • Teenage boys need up to 52 grams a day.
  • Teenage girls need 46 grams a day.
  • Adult men need about 56 grams a day.
  • Adult women need about 46 grams a day

To make matters even worse, General Mills is charging a price premium for Cheerios Protein, according to the complaint. Consumers can expect to pay approximately 70 cents more for the product at stores like Walmart, Giant Foods, and Safeway.

However, General Mills is not skimping on added sugars. According to the Nutrition Facts Panels, a serving of Cheerios Protein has 17 grams of sugar (more than 4 teaspoons) while the original Cheerios has only 1 gram of sugar (less than a teaspoon).

Noting that a serving of Cheerios Protein has far more sugar per serving than a typical kids cereal like Trix or Frosted Flakes, CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson said, “They really ought to call the product Cheerios Sugar.”

To put Cheerios Protein’s sugar content into perspective, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that women consume no more than 5 teaspoons of added sugar daily, and men no more than 9. School age children should limit added sugar consumption to 3 teaspoons a day and pre-teens and teens to a maximum of 5 to 8 teaspoons.

Since added sugars are a huge part of the American diet (the average American consumes 22 teaspoons of sugar a day), it’s easy to max out with just a few food and drink products. For example, a teenager who eats a 55 gram serving of Cheerios Protein (4 teaspoons of sugar) at breakfast and drinks a 12 ounce soft drink later in the day (9-10 teaspoons of sugar), will have more than maxed out his or her daily limit.

The fact that General Mills markets a high-sugar cereal to children as healthful is cause for concern since a growing body of evidence links excessive sugar intake to a variety of chronic ailments. In a recent study financed by the National Institutes of Health, obese children who cut back on their sugar intake to recommended levels saw dramatic improvements in their metabolic health (cholesterol, blood pressure, insulin levels, etc.) after just 10 days, despite losing little or no weight.

When asked how the average consumer can better protect him or herself from these types of food industry deceptions, CSPI’s Jacobson said: “People need to guard against this kind of corporate mischief by reading labels carefully—discounting the marketing blather on the front and relying on the fine print in the Nutrition Facts panel and ingredient statement.”

Another way to avoid food marketing tricks is to cook and eat more whole foods instead of relying on ultra-processed foods that aren’t always promoted honestly. That’s the only surefire way to know exactly what you are your family are eating.

Cereal portion control matters

  • Almost every participant—92 percent—exceeded the recommended serving size. They helped themselves to 24 percent to 92 percent more when using a 12-ounce bowl and 43 percent to 114 percent more when using an 18-ounce bowl. But those who used the largest bowl really went overboard. With Cheerios, the average “overpour” was 132 percent; with granola, it was 282 percent.
  • The denser the cereal, the bigger the serving. This pattern was especially true for granola. If participants had actually eaten the amount of cereal they had in their bowl, they would have consumed two to four times the number of calories listed on the label—400 to 800 calories vs. 200. In addition, they would have taken in at least double the amount of fat (10 to 19 grams vs. 5) and at least twice the sodium (58 to 115 milligrams vs. 30) in a suggested serving.
  • The caloric damage wasn’t as great with the other two cereals, but it was still significant. Those who chose Cheerios would have consumed 132 to 232 calories vs. the 100, and 3 to 5 grams of fat vs. 2 grams in the listed 1-cup serving. On the sodium front, participants would have taken in 185 to 325 milligrams vs. 140 milligrams.

Bottom line. You don’t have to stick to the portion sizes listed on cereal boxes, but you do need to know how much you typically serve yourself. Grab your favorite cereal bowl, pour out the amount you normally eat, and measure it. Then do the math so you know how many calories and how much sugars, sodium, and fat you’re really getting at breakfast.

—Deborah Pike Olsen

“Cheerios Protein” Has Negligibly More Protein, but Far More Sugar, than Original Cheerios

The nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest and private law firms filed the suit charging that General Mills falsely markets Cheerios Protein as a high-protein alternative to Cheerios, when in fact the main thing that distinguishes Cheerios Protein from Cheerios is that the former has 17 times as much sugar.

Cheerios Protein boasts on the front of its box that it has 11 grams of protein; four of those grams come from the milk, leaving seven grams from the cereal. Original Cheerios has three grams of protein. That four gram difference represents a small amount of protein— just five percent of the average American’s intake. But much of that difference is attributable to differences in serving sizes. Cheerios Protein has a bigger, 55-gram serving size, whereas Cheerios uses a 27-gram serving size. Two ounces of each cereal have just about the same amount of protein.

The far larger nutritional difference between Cheerios Protein and Cheerios is sugar. A 1¼ cup serving of Cheerios Protein contains 17 times as much sugar as original Cheerios, which only has one gram of sugar per one-cup serving. In fact, Cheerios Protein Oats & Honey has eight forms of added sugars, including brown sugar, sugar, corn syrup, corn syrup solids, molasses, caramel (containing sugar and caramelized sugar syrup), honey, and refiner’s syrup.

And for a cereal with only a bit more protein but a lot more sugar, General Mills is charging a premium: Consumers pay about 70 cents more per box at stores like Walmart, Giant Foods, and Safeway.

“Consumers who buy Cheerios Protein probably think they’re doing themselves a favor, and that this more expensive product is essentially a protein-fortified version of original Cheerios,” said CSPI litigation director Maia Kats. “In fact, the main thing that distinguishes Cheerios Protein from original Cheerios is the huge amount of sugar and extra calories. With 17 times as much sugar as original Cheerios, Cheerios Protein is actually more conducive to diabetes, weight gain, heart disease, and tooth decay.”

CSPI’s complaint also says that General Mills’ marketing on television and the Internet for Cheerios Protein is false and misleading. One ad featuring NASCAR driver Austin Dillon takes a child into a Cheerios Protein stock car and has him “fueled up” and racing off to school.’

“A serving of Cheerios Protein, with its four teaspoons of sugar, has much more sugar than a typical cereal marketed to kids, such as Trix or Frosted Flakes,” said CSPI president Michael F. Jacobson. “They really ought to call the product Cheerios Sugar.”

The lawsuit was filed in United States District Court for the Northern District of California. Besides Kats, consumers are represented by CSPI litigation attorney Will Thanhauser, Michael Reese of Reese LLP, and Laurence King and Linda Fong of Kaplan Fox, LLP. In recent weeks, CSPI’s litigation unit has announced resolutions of cases involving labeling of Coca-Cola’s Vitaminwater and Campbell Soup Company’s Plum Organics line of baby food.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) alleged Cheerios Protein has 17 times as much sugar as the original Cheerios, thus marketing the product as a high-protein alternative was misleading.

Four-gram difference in protein

CSPI noted Cheerios Protein claims it has 11g of protein on its front pack, of which four grams come from milk, leaving seven grams from the cereal. The original Cheerios has three grams of protein – that does not include protein from the cereal itself.

“That four-gram difference represents a small amount of protein – just 5% of the average American’s intake,”​ CSPI said in a statement.

Maia Kats, litigation director at CSPI, added: “Consumers who buy Cheerios Protein probably think they’re doing themselves a favor, and this more expensive product is essentially a protein-fortified version of original Cheerios.” ​

However, “the main thing that distinguishes Cheerios Protein from the original version is the huge amount of sugar and extra calorie… is actually more conducive to diabetes, weight gain, heart disease and tooth decay,”​ she said.

Label change

As part of the agreement, General Mills said it will stop adding the four grams of protein from milk to the seven grams of protein from the cereal when it states the protein content on the front panel of Cheerios Protein boxes.

The company will also adopt the phrase “Sweetened Whole Grain and Oat Cereal”​ and make it appear in a font at least 50% as large as the font used for the word “protein.”​

Commenting on the forthcoming label change, Kats said: “The improvements that General Mills has agreed to make on Cheerios Protein will make it less likely for consumers to be tricked into thinking that the product is simply a protein-enriched version of original Cheerios.​

How Many Calories in Nestle Cheerios

View calories and nutrition info per 1 Serving/30g of Nestle Cheerios and see how many calories are in 100g of Nestle Cheerios and its nutrition information.

Nestle Cheerios Calories and Nutrition per Serving (30g)


Protein (g)

Carbohydrate (g)

Fat (g)

Fibre (g)

Alcohol (g)

Calories (with Percentage) for each Nutrient for 100g of Nestle Cheerios

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Calorie and Nutrition Values for 100g of Nestle Cheerios


Protein (g)

Carbohydrate (g)

Fat (g)

Fibre (g)

Alcohol (g)

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Cheerios with protein nutrition

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