General Mills objects to regulations on advertising to kidsby Rupa Shenoy, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — New regulations proposed by the Obama administration on Thursday would limit advertising of sugary cereals to children.
Minnesota-based General Mills says that may be the wrong approach. General Mills produces cereals including Kix, Lucky Charms and Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
The new regulations would be voluntary. If followed, they would mean the end of General Mills icons like the Lucky Charms' Leprechaun and the count in Count Chocula.
General Mills spokesman Tom Forsythe said cereals like those get children to drink milk. And he said frequent cereal eaters -- including people who choose sweetened cereals -- tend to have healthier body weights.
"Frequent cereal eaters -- including people who choose sweetened cereals -- tend to have healthier body weights," Forsythe said. "It's true of men. It's true of women. It's true of kids in every age group. If the issue is obesity -- or the healthfulness of breakfast -- we would expect the guidelines to encourage advertising of cereals, including sweetened cereals.
Forsythe added the company has already taken steps to make its cereals healthier.
"We have now lowered on average sugar levels in our kids cereals by more than 14 percent. And we've pledged to continue to reduce all of those cereals to single-digit grams of sugar per serving. And we will."
Forsythe said General Mills is eager to provide input on the proposed federal regulations.