Nestle and General Mills have said they will cut the amount of sugar in 20 breakfast cereal products by up to 30%.

Cereal Partners Worldwide, the companies’ venture to sell products outside North America, said it would lower the sugar content in lines “popular with children and teenagers” to nine grams or less per serving by 2015.

The cereals will also be the subject of other “nutritional improvements”, the companies said, which will see whole grain become the “main ingredient”.

The level of calcium will be increased to 15% of a country’s recommended daily amount. Sodium will also be lowered to 135mg per serving.

“We are committing to improve about 5.3 billion portions of Nestlé breakfast cereals in more than 140 countries around the world,” Cereal Partners president and CEO Jeff Harmening said.

Manufacturers are reformulating products to meet consumer demand for healthier products but also under pressure from governments to tackle the problem of obesity.

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New EU rules on product labelling are also set to be introduced, which politicians claim will make it easier for consumers to choose healthier foods.