Popular cereal bars have been found to have more sugar and fat than several sweet snacks, according to a new study.
While each of these f 20 well-known bars, mostly marketed to children, would be classified as "high in sugar" under the Food Standards Agency's traffic light labeling scheme, a nutritious-looking Kellogg's Fruit 'n Fibre Bar contained more sugar (10g) than a chocolate Penguin bar (9.7g).
according to Which? researchers.
Cereals bars like Nesquik Cereal and Milk Bar and Nestle Golden Grahams Cereal and Milk Bar were found to have the highest content of saturated fat of 2.1g of saturate per bar which is more than popular snack Mr Kipling Almond slice contains.
These findings are the result of a Which? investigation in July which showed that three quarters of 275 breakfast cereals looked at had high amounts of sugar.
Editor Neil Fowler said: "Many people eat a cereal bar as a quick alternative to breakfast. But although the packs are plastered with wholesome images and claims, the 20 bars we scrutinised were all high in sugar and more than half were also high in saturated fat.
"These findings are worrying given the recent Government report which showed obesity in the UK is more prevalent than in many other European countries."
According to the survey, a Jordans Original Crunchy Honey and Almond bar contained the most fat (6.8g) overall. It would get a red light under the FSA labelling scheme.
Nestle's Fitnesse Original was found to have the least sugar (5.6g) and least fat (1.6g) while this along with Jordans Frusli Raisin and Hazelnut bar were found to have the least saturated fat of 0.7g per bar.
Nestle reported its cutting of saturated fat in these cereal and milk bars and proposed plans for further cuts the following year.
The Nesquik bar now has 2g of saturates while the Golden Grahams contained only 1.9g per bar. The company added the bars provided important nutrients.
Jordans said that artificial additives were needed to further cut fat, but this was not an option they considered because the firm uses only natural ingredients. It added that 87 per cent of the fat was 'good' fats essential for health.