Calorie make up of bars
Coco-Pops Cereal and Milk Bar - fat 32%,saturated fat 24%, sugar 41%
Rice Krispies Cereal and Milk Bar - fat 35%,saturated fat 29%, sugar 33%
Fruit and Nut Break Breakfast Bar - fat 25%,saturated fat 6%,sugar 22%
Nutrigrain Apple Morning Bar - fat 20%, saturated fat - 4%, sugar 32%

Tracker Breakfast bar (banana) - fat 43%
Source: BBC News Online
Longer working days and more hectic schedules mean fewer of us are sitting down to eat breakfast. Increasingly, we are reaching for convenient cereal bars, which seem to offer the same nutritional advantages as traditional breakfast cereal. However, new research published today by the Food Commission showed that 18 cereal bars tested were either high in fats or sugars, or indeed both.

The products which performed most poorly were a Coco Pops bar (at 41% calories from sugar it beat pure milk chocolate), a Tracker banana breakfast bar (43% calories from fat) and a Rice Krispies bar (29% of the calories from saturated fats).

While sugar eaten in a bowl of cereal tends to be washed away by milk, when eaten in a sticky cereal bar it encourages tooth decay, says the report. Of the 18 bars tested, all had higher levels of sugar than dieticians recommend for a healthy breakfast such as bowl of cereal with semi-skimmed milk.

Perhaps the problem is partly one of marketing positioning. The cereal bars are sold alongside traditional breakfast cereals, but as Food Commission Director Tim Lobstein commented, they are more akin to confectionery.

For more information please visit the Food Commission website www.foodcomm.org.uk