Child-friendly breakfast cereals are not linked to high obesity rates, one nutrition expert has said.
According to a survey by mysupermarket.co.uk, cereals that are marketed as being nutritious contain large amounts of sugar and the top ten selling brands in the UK contain more salt than a Cadbury Milk Chocolate Cake bar.
However, Claire Williamson, nutrition scientist at the British Nutrition Foundation, disputed the suggestion that cereals might be a cause of obesity.
"The Guideline Daily Amount (GDA) for total sugars for children age five to ten years is 85g per day, so a cereal providing 13.6g of sugars would provide 16 per cent of a young child's GDA," she explained, while a salt serving would usually be just ten per cent of a child's recommended intake.
Ms Williamson added: "Cereals with these levels of sugar and salt can be accommodated within a healthy, balanced diet for children of this age."
Causes of obesity can be linked to sedentary lifestyles and consumption of "inappropriate" food and drink, the expert said.