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FDA warns Cheerios about health claims

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

The U.S. Food and Drugs Administration warned General Mills that the claims on the Cheerios box concerning cholesterol are too much like those of a medical drug.

Specifically, the FDA wrote, "Based on claims made on your product's label (the box), we have determined that your Cheerios Toasted Whole Wheat Grain Cereal is promoted for conditions that cause it to be a drug because the product is intended for use in the prevention, mitigation and treatment of disease."

General Mills has responded by saying that the science is not in question, and is in talks with the FDA for how it presents the claim on the box. The marketing campaign claiming Cheerios can reduce cholesterol by 4 percent in 6 weeks has been ongoing for two years, and the Eye on the FDA blog points out the government could have sent a less severe informal letter asking the company to change its labeling.

High LDL cholesterol is an important risk factor for various forms of cardiovascular disease, such as stroke, coronary artery disease and heart attack. Monitoring your cholesterol through blood tests and taking steps to reduce it if the level is too high is an important part of overall health, according to the American Medical Association.ADNFCR-2248-ID-19170835-ADNFCR

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