Many UK consumers are waking up to poor nutrition with the cereals they eat, according to a report by Which?

The research conducted by consumer watchdog shows that 31 cereals out of the 100 looked at contained more than four teaspoons of sugar per recommended serving.

The report, Going Against the Grain, also found that only one of the 28 cereals specifically marketed to children was found not to be high in sugar (but was still high in salt).

Morrisons Choco Crackles topped the sweet chart with more sugar per serving than a Cadbury’s Chocolate Flake, according to Which?, followed by Kellogg’s Coco Pops Moons and Stars, Frosties and Ricicles which were over a third (37%) “pure sugar”.

Which? also compared starting the day with Special K as the equivalent of a bowl of Tesco’s Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake Ice Cream.

Which? chief policy adviser Sue Davies said:“Breakfast is important, and some cereals deserve their healthy image, but most simply don’t. It’s especially shocking that almost all those targeted at children are less healthy. With such little choice, it’s a daily struggle for consumers.

“Cereal manufacturers need to wake up to the fact that people want to eat healthily and provide them with the means to do so by reducing sugar and salt levels and making labelling clearer. With over a billion pounds spent on cereals every year, it’s time they rose to the occasion. ”

Which? analysed 100 leading UK cereals for the report and found that although sugar levels remained high, positive changes could be seen with reductions in salt content.

Of the offenders, Kellogg featured four times in the sugar list and five times in the salt list.

A spokesperson for the cereal manufacturer told just-food: “We are disappointed with the report. Whilst we totally see what they are saying, it does not square with sound scientific research. The table compares portions of 100g and the average bowl of cereal is 30g per portion so it is very misleading.

“That is why we are so committed to GDA’s, which tell you what you are eating per bowl. As for the comparison with a bowl of Tesco Fudge Cake Ice-Cream – that has ten times the amount of saturated fat and more. Of course the headlines are eye-catching but it doesn’t tell the whole story.”