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The Associated Press August 11, 2011, 11:01AM ET

Yale: Cereals' health claims confuse many parents

A study by Yale researchers finds parents often misinterpret health claims on children's cereals, assuming they are more nutritious than they actually are.

The university's Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity found that parents often inferred sugar-laden cereals were more nutritious than some alternatives when the packaging touted "whole grain," "organic," "supports your child's immunity" and related phrases.

Researchers surveyed parents with children between ages 2 and 11, asking them to view pictures of common children's cereals and say whether the health-related buzzwords on the boxes might influence them to buy the products.

The researchers suggest increased regulation is needed from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to reduce confusion about the nutrition claims.

The study is published in this month's edition of the academic journal Public Health Nutrition.

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