Sugariest Cereals For Kids Get Pimped Hardest

A new Yale report finds that cereal companies spent $156 million per year marketing to children, and most of that money gets plowed into pushing the sugariest cereals, which they try to pretend are healthy.

Even milk-covered desert cereals like Lucky Charms, Reese’s Puffs, and Cookie Crisp have 3-4 health claims on their boxes, the report finds. And most of the cereals with the lowest nutritional content are still pimp themselves out as being “better-for you” or “Smart Choices.”

The cereal companies typically “dual-market.” From one side of their mouth, convince parents that it’s a healthy and wholesome start to the day. Out the other, tell kids that cereal is a fun game.

Someone should tell these companies childhood obesity is no game. Parents need to make smart purchasing decisions, but regulators need to start taking on these bogus health claims.

Mixed Messages From Sugary Cereal Makers [The Atlantic]
Cereal FACTS:Evaluating the nutrition quality and marketing of children’s cereals (PDF) (4-page summary (PDF))


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  1. hills says:

    I was surprised that my husband’s Coco Rice Krispies have less sugar than my Quaker Granola, so I gave up on trying to eat “healthy” cereal and just have my favorite sugar loaded cereal every morning – Rice Krispie Treats Cereal (that stuff is hard to find, BTW!)….

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @hillsrovey: I used to love the rice krispie cereal. It was actually pretty bland, but I liked it.

      I don’t eat cereal nearly enough to justify eating woodchips and cardboard (I’m looking at you, Kashi). Just give me my Captain Crunch once a week and I’ll work longer at the gym.

      • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

        @pecan 3.14159265: I recently got a free sample of a Kashi cereal that I thought was pretty darn good.. It looked like lil yellow pillows and the flavor reminded me of Kix with a touch of honey flavor.

        I just had to look it up but it’s called Honey Sunshine.

        I was pleasantly suprised by this.

        • cabjf says:

          @Kimaroo – No Stars Upon Thars: That sounds a lot like Puffins Honey Rice cereal. All the Puffins cereals are tasty, especially the peanut butter.

          Just a note on granola, it’s really a high carb type of food. It should be used sparingly (like sprinkled on yogurt or mixed in with cereal or GORP (Good Old Raisins and Peanuts).

        • SubzeroScientist says:

          @Kimaroo – No Stars Upon Thars: Some of their cereals are yummy, but they also tend to be the less healthy ones. It’s the less exciting ones (the Kashi Go-Lean stuff) that has all the fibre, protein, and so on.

          The Almond Flax Kashi Go-Lean Crunch stuff is pretty good, but the regular Kashi is kind of like eating a bird’s nest full of wood chips. Not even drowning it in Greek yoghurt (fat free, super high protein, lower carb than other yoghurts) can make it bearable for me.

    • Trance1861 says:

      @hillsrovey: Yea, but you are getting way more fiber and protein and less salt in the granola.

      Granted, sugar content is important, but you should look at other things too.

      • Xerloq says:

        @Trance1861: With the granola (especially Quaker) you get a TON of fat: []

        Here’s the Quaker Natural Granola Oats & Honey & Raisins nutritional info for the hyperlink-disinclined.

        420 calories
        12 g fat (7 g saturated)
        30 g sugars
        6 g fiber

        • subtlefrog says:

          @Xerloq, we are all made of stars.: Some granolas, yes, but because they have nuts in them, so the fat isn’t saturated fat, it’s the “good fat.” I wouldn’t be so put off by the carb content in general – complex carbohydrates are good for you. Some granolas are full of sugar, though, in which case, those are the ones you want to avoid if you are concerned about caloric content, because they are full of simple carbs.

    • leastcmplicated says:

      @hillsrovey: rice krispies treats cereal, never run out again :) []

    • RonDiaz says:

      @hillsrovey: Oh Man I love Rice Crispy Treats cereal and you’re right it is hard to find.

    • morlo says:

      @hillsrovey: Actually grams of sugar/grams of cereal is actually less for the Quaker. Still too much for most people, but that is why the Lord gave us oatmeal.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        @morlo: It’s sad that I can really only eat oatmeal that has some kind of sugar in it. I want to experiment with blending regular oats with chopped up apple or something. I’ve tried eating regular oats with raisins, but by the time I add enough that it’s palatable, it’s more raisins than oats.

        • mazzic1083 says:

          @pecan 3.14159265: I’m not a big fan of oatmeal but that’s because I used to always make it with water. I recently started to make it with 1% milk and now find myself loving it.

          (disclaimer that I know you like gourmet food but I am referring to microwaved instant oatmeal, not steel cut oats)

  2. Anne Boleyn says:

    I know that deceptive marketing is evil and all (and it is!), but any parent that cannot see that giving their children cereal loaded with sugar is unhealthy is IMO an idiot.

    • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

      @saya: I dunno, the amount of money spent advertising healthy food (tiny amount) vs. the amount spent advertising processed food … and this is the SECOND generation of parents to have grown up in a world of processed food, many of whom can’t cook and who have been subjected to far more “nutritional information” presented by corporations than by scientists or the government … there comes a point at which people have been educated into idiocy beyond the point which they’re able to even evaluate the claims adequately.

      And even if they could, and they only thing they know about breakfast is “store-bought cereal,” what are they going to do about it?

      I consider myself pretty nutritionally-savvy, but even just looking at these baby books (as my baby is starting solids), the information in them is contradictory, confusing, and sometimes outdated or just wrong. And these are your well-respected, mainstream baby books, not “raise your child a hippie-loving vegan!” or “Sugar: It’s What’s For Dinner.”

      • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

        @Eyebrows McGee (now with more baby!): Also, advertisers spend millions upon millions on making advertising more effective … and then turn around and say, “This doesn’t interfere with people making free choices or exercising critical thinking.” Well of COURSE it does, or they wouldn’t spend millions of dollars on ensuring the psychology of advertising “works” to push people into bad decisions.

        You can’t have it both ways.

        • Xerloq says:

          @Eyebrows McGee (now with more baby!): Mrs. McGee, I’m normally with you 100%, but I disagree that advertising interferes with free choices.

          Advertising is effective because it allows people to make an emotional decision in place of a logical one. Since “people have been educated into idiocy” and the claims made by advertisers are difficult to evaluate, people choose not to make a logical decision in favor of making the easy emotional decision.

          In other words, you’re free to choose, but make sure you know what the choice is.

          On another note, my 3-year-old has turned himself into a “hippie-loving vegan.” Try as I might, I can’t get him to eat meat or sugary cereal.

          • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

            @Xerloq, we are all made of stars.: “I disagree that advertising interferes with free choices. Advertising is effective because it allows people to make an emotional decision in place of a logical one. “

            I think I’m missing the nuance of your point, because this is pretty much what I was saying — except that it doesn’t “allow” it, it attempts to manipulate you into doing it. (And if it didn’t work, they wouldn’t pay nearly so much for it.)

          • Gorphlog says:

            @Xerloq, we are all made of stars.:

            You can most definitely make him eat meat and sugar. Make him sit at the table till his plate is clean like my parents did. He will eventually eat it

            • katefromcanada says:

              This worked for my parents with anything except turnip soup. All three children sat at the table until past their bedtimes, refusing to eat more than the first spoon (which confirmed to us that this was NOT FOOD).

              We woke up to microwaved turnip soup for breakfast, which we also refused to eat.

              While in general I don’t think kids should get away with only eating their favourite foods, that soup was not food, and it did not appear on the table again until we were teenagers (at which point we all made peanut butter sandwiches and our parents enjoyed the extra leftovers).

      • kaceetheconsumer says:

        @Eyebrows McGee (now with more baby!): “there comes a point at which people have been educated into idiocy beyond the point which they’re able to even evaluate the claims adequately.”

        Exactly. WTF does “whole grains” mean in context of an actual food? You’ll see it on processed foods everywhere and people have heard from industry, government, doctors, etc for several years now that “whole grains” = healthy. And to an extent, it’s true.

        But I’ve seen HFCS-laden white bread with some oats sprinkled on top bearing a “whole grains” label. Hell, you could take a single whole oat, wrap it in dog turds and unrefined uranium and call it “all natural with whole grains” because dog turds and uranium do occur naturally, after all.

        The sugar cereal industry has worked really, really hard over the years to trick moms into buying their crap. They extol the virtues of the added vitamins inside. They put up pictures with a small bowl surrounded by fruit and milk and call it a “serving suggestion”. They use three or four kinds of sugars instead of one, so when mama reads the ingredient list, the first ingredient will be wheat or oats, or maybe cram in both to get the top two spots, and the mama maybe doesn’t realize that some of the chemical names listed further down really are sugar.

        Plus, with the marketing at kids, the kids start to beg and whine and plead, and while there are lots of ways to say no or avoid the request, there will always be exhausted, busy parents who cave because if it gets two of the four kids to shut the hell up during the Wednesday evening grocery trip after three 10-hour work days with two more to go, then it’s bloody well worth it. I’m not going to sit in judgment of that parent!

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          @kaceetheconsumer: HFCS-laden “wheat” bread is the reason why I’m looking into breadmakers, and seeing whether it would be feasible for me to make my own loaves of sandwich bread. I mean, I can get a loaf for $1.80, so I doubt making my own would be that much cheaper – but I’d rather have a loaf of bread with ingredients I can pronounce and have measured out myself.

          • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

            @pecan 3.14159265: Making bread by hand isn’t hard (especially if you have a stand mixer, skip the breadmachine) … and breadmachine or handmade, it’s the slicing of the homemade bread that’s tricky. I make a lot of bread but we still buy bread for sandwiches because of the slicing issue.

            That said, you could consider pitas for your sandwiches, either store-bought (typically have fewer ingredients and are more natural than bread) or homemade (easier to “split” than bread is to slice, IMHO). I don’t know what the cost differential would be, though.

            Then again, you may be one of them coordinated folks who can manage to slice textured breads without catastrophe. :)

            • pecan 3.14159265 says:

              @Eyebrows McGee (now with more baby!): But isn’t the point of the breadmachine to actually produce loaves of bread in the loaf shape? What would a stand mixer have to do with bread, other than mixing the dough.

              • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

                @pecan 3.14159265: Mixing and kneading the dough can be hard physical labor — bread machines do that part as well.

                With a bread machine, you basically dump everything in and it bakes, but you’re limited in what kinds of bread you can do and the quality is consistent but only fair-to-middlin’ with most.

                If you make it “by hand” you can use a stand mixer to avoid the hard physical labor (although some people prefer to do it by hand, and some people like the exercise!) and you have a lot more control over the recipe and quality. To get a loaf shape, you just need a loaf pan (couple bucks). The downside is you’ll have to be there to punch down the dough after the first rise and to put it in and take it out of the oven.

                But a bread machine is a single-task appliance and an expensive one that takes up a lot of room. A stand mixer does all kinds of things. I own both, and I put the bread machine away basically the instant I learned that making my own was just as easy, as long as I had the dough hook for my stand mixer.

    • An_Album_Cover says:

      @saya: I think the issue is that a lot of parents have a lot of behaviors that they’d like to work on minimizing with their kids. The issue is that you can’t yell at the kid for every little thing — you have to prioritize and work on the highest priority issue. If you’re a well-intentioned low-income urban parent, and your choices are to get your kid to study, stay out of gangs, keep away from drugs, practice safe sex, etc., etc., etc., as well as eat healthfully, which would you choose first? The fact of the matter is that a LOT of parents find that eating healthfully ends up taking a lower priority compared to other things in life.

      • An_Album_Cover says:

        @An_Album_Cover: Bah, redundancy fail. I can haz an edit buton nao, plz? kthxbai

      • mianne prays her parents outlive the TSA says:

        @An_Album_Cover: I wouldn’t restrict the issue only to low-income urban parents. I’m certain plenty of solidly middle class suburban soccer moms are facing the same dilemma.

        Ever try to win the argument against a six-year old who *MUST* have [insert favorite tv character] cereal?

    • lmarconi says:

      @saya: I don’t know – I never would have guessed that Rice Krispies or Frosted Flakes were higher or equal to Cocoa Krispies or Honey Smacks. And I do read the labels and I wouldn’t give a kid Lucky Charms except as a “dessert” (that’s how my mom ran things : ), but some of these things don’t look overtly sugary

  3. Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

    I’m being honest here: Are Frosted Mini Wheats really that bad of a cereal? I mean.. it is MOSTLY wheat.. isn’t it?

    I’m sure the frosted ones aren’t as good for you as the non-frosted variety.. but is the little bit of frosting on those things enough to be lableld as a bad-for-your-kid sort of thing?

    I’m sure it’s better than what I used to eat for breakfast.. lol.

    • darkforcesjedi says:

      @Kimaroo – No Stars Upon Thars: I don’t know the answer to your question, but next time you’re grocery shopping pick up a box of Post Shredded Wheat (the only ingredient is wheat). I find that the plain stuff from Post has a much better flavor than the frosted Kellogg’s variety and it costs half as much ($2.50/lb vs. $4.29/lb).

      I used to eat a lot of toasted rice cereals (generic Rice Krispies), but now all the manufacturers add sugar to it, which is just a waste in my opinion.

      • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

        @darkforcesjedi: @morlo: @rocketbear79: Oh, I don’t eat this stuff. I just figured it was one of the better cereals for kids since it was mostly wheat.

        And I do not gain weight easily. Lol. If you knew me, you would understand just how funny that thought is.

        • mazzic1083 says:

          @Kimaroo – No Stars Upon Thars: They are not that bad for you in the grand scheme of things. Not to mention they have a decent amount of fiber and will keep you fuller for hours compared to something like fruity pebbles. If you have to have a little sugar in your cereal I would recommend frosted mini wheats

    • zarex42 says:

      @Kimaroo – No Stars Upon Thars:

      No, they really aren’t that bad.

    • morlo says:

      @Kimaroo – No Stars Upon Thars: It’s one of the best cereals since it’s whole wheat and only 20% sugar…but I hope you’re hitting the gym afterwards

    • rocketbear79 says:

      @Kimaroo – No Stars Upon Thars: As with any sugary cereal your body is going to insulin spike afterwards. (Not to mention any fat type of regular milk is going to add to that spike) If you are a person who puts on fat weight easily, this is not a good thing.

    • tcolberg says:

      @Kimaroo – No Stars Upon Thars: If only there were a lightly-sweetened Frosted Mini-Wheats. Maybe I’ll try the Post Shredded Wheat that darkforcesjedi (go Katarn!) mentioned and toss in some honey instead.

      @rocketbear79: That’s why I switched to fat-free milk. Now every other milk type tastes like cream rather than being refreshing.

  4. Working for the man, he pays well. says:

    Chex for the win! Course… I add sugar. Doh.

  5. laughingisfree says:

    Kix used to be my favorites back in the days (it qualified for food stamps) but now its all about those flavored cheerios and those honey bunches of oats.

    • SubzeroScientist says:

      @laughingisfree: Berry Berry Kix will always remain my most beloved of cereals (regular was good, too). But I have a devil of a time finding it these days, if they even still make it.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @laughingisfree: I love honey bunches of oats, but for some reason, I find it just too sweet. Is this the case for you? I’ve even tried the vanilla box, just to see if it was any less sweet, and it isn’t.

      • laughingisfree says:

        @pecan 3.14159265: I can handle the sweetness of the cereal, I can basically eat anything as long as it isn’t too salty or bitter.

        Anyways, you should definitely try the Pecan Bunches and Almonds variety of Honey Bunches of Oats. Right now the pecan bunches is where its at.

    • ChuckECheese says:

      @laughingisfree: Your food stamps have changed. Now all cereals are fair game, as is nearly any foodstuff, including soft drinks.

    • rocketbear79 says:

      @laughingisfree: If I am going to cheat on my diet, sometimes its with a whole large box of Raisin Bran Crunch. I think I could eat that until I died like the first victim in Se7en.

  6. thisheregirafFe says:

    i’m failing to see what’s so bad… so long as their claims are true that seems fair to me. if you’re a parent you should know that just because it has 11 essential vitamins, it isn’t necessarily healthy.

    and besides, i grew up on quisp and count chocula, and look at me, i’m on the internet!!

  7. vondie says:

    Does anyone remember the French Toast Crunch cereal, the one with the little bread shaped pieces covered in syrup flavored sugary goodness?

    • SubzeroScientist says:

      @vondie: YES. I loved that stuff and wish I could find it again, even though the pieces were so sharp they cut up my mouth and left a funky aftertaste behind. <3

      Do they still make that? I occasionally see cereals I thought were long gone, that seem to just be holding on in very select markets.

    • Xerloq says:

      @vondie: I tried those again the other day (got a box free after coupons). Nostalgia = destroyed. Disgusting.

    • lvixen says:

      French Toast Crunch was discontinued in May of 2008. I did however find this place that seems to be still selling it. []

      I wonder what the expiration date is?

  8. diasdiem says:

    Well, duh.

    One of the biggest BS lines in commercial history was the old “Part of a balanced breakfast” line. And they always showed a bowl of the cereal, surrounded by some toast, a grapefruit, an egg, and a big glass of orange juice.

    It’s also no coincidence that grocery stores put these cereals at kid-height rather than the top shelf.

    • Xerloq says:

      @diasdiem: You would be excited/appalled to learn about the secrets of grocery-store marketing. I mean, do you KNOW what they DO?

    • MooseOfReason says:

      @diasdiem: Who drives to the store? Who pays for the groceries?

      That’s right. The parents.

      • diasdiem says:

        @MooseOfReason: Who gets a migraine because their kids are walking behind them with the cereal in their hot little hands whining for them to buy it? That’s right. The parents.

        As firm as you can be as a parent, sometimes it’s a hard choice between parenting and your own sanity.

    • Gorphlog says:

      @diasdiem: You do realize that they could put Kashi at kid level and they would probably want it until they tasted it. Kids seem to want everything at the store. Just today I saw a kid begging his mom to buy the bottle of clam juice he picked up. I doubt he wouldve liked it.

  9. lawnmowerdeth says:

    Suddenly I have a craving for Fruity Pebbles. It’s probably been at least a decade since I’ve had some.

  10. Blueskylaw says:

    Does the cereal come in fun sizes????

  11. Bluth_Cornballer says:

    I admit to falling victim to the marketing schemes as a child. I don’t care how unhealthy it is, I still enjoy an occasional bowl of Lucky Charms.

    But hey… it’s got riboflavin!

    • elangomatt says:

      @Bluth_Cornballer: Lucky Charms is still my favorite of the sugary cereals, along with PB Captain Crunch. I like the healthier stuff now too, but still do the lucky charms when it is on sale sometimes.

    • calquist says:

      @Bluth_Cornballer: I love Lucky Charms. I buy cereal instead of ice cream. It is the perfect dessert. And sometimes lunch. Or breakfast. Or on the weekends, both.

  12. Shadowman615 says:

    Yeah, so I heard. Right here. Yesterday.

  13. IndyJaws says:

    Interesting that they don’t note heavy advertising for Mini Wheats. Nick and Disney are often on at our house and I see more commercials for them than any other cereal. Perhaps it’s just a relatively new campaign, but I seem to remember them being pimped for quite a while.
    Now, there should be no reason to advertise Cocoa Pebbles. There is no greater cereal on the face of the earth and everyone should already know that. Semi-soggy, chewy Cocoa Pebbles FTW!!

  14. lehrdude says:

    Advertisers can hit the kids dead-on 99% of the time.

    They could sell Poopy-O’s to my kids if the commercials have enough superheros and loud noises…

  15. leastcmplicated says:

    I’m not a big fan of sugary cereals in the morning, and right now my daughter would rather eat yogurt for every meal. I hope to have a few years before the marketing kicks in :( although, fruity pebbles is the shiz!

  16. jonsheline says:

    See, once upon a time there was this thing called a “Free Market System,” where the consumers occasionally awakened from their ad-induced stupor when mercenary advertising (a redundant term) stepped over the line, forming consumer advocacy groups. These groups used to get lots of consumers actively involved to put pressure directly on the companie(s) making outlandish claims, and said companies would realize once again that the consumers had spoken and if they wanted to stay in business, they had no choice but to comply…once upon a time.
    Nowadays, we just ask legislators to do our job for us, and we pay the “small” price of giving up that direct line of influence between consumer and producer. It’s just easier.

    • mommiest says:

      @jonsheline: We haven’t given up our line of influence between consumer and producer. We can, in fact, have that along with legislation. Really. We can do both.

  17. Xerloq says:

    Forget the sugary cereals! I want a good old fashioned breakfast of steak, three eggs, two sausage, two slices of bacon, one biscuit covered in gravy, toast, milk, OJ, and grapefruit with a side of hash-browns and a short stack.

    That should hold me ’till second breakfast.

  18. zarex42 says:

    Look, folks, you have personal responsibility for making your own choices about what to eat, and what to feed your kids.

    Spare us the victim mentality. It’s not the advertiser’s fault if you’re fat or unhealthy. It’s yours!

    Whining to your politicians and decrying evil advertising will not solve your problems.

    Take control of your own life, and your own choices.

  19. TheFingerOfGod says:

    My breakfast?

    –1 cup of steel cut oatmeal (bulk bin from whole foods)
    — 1.5 cups of water from my brita filter
    –Put both in my nice little muji bowl: []
    –4 mins in the microwave
    –1 to 2 tablespoons of condensed milk (2 tbls 130 calories, 30 calories from fat, 23g carbs, 3g protein)
    –freshly grated nutmeg (I get the whole nuts bulk from whole foods and grate it on my micro-plane)
    –.5 cups of raisons (bulk bin whole foods)

    That’s it. It could not be easier. The one benefit is that in the 4 mins it takes to nuke the oatmeal I get to wash my dishes. Sink clean before I leave the house!

    If I had more money I would buy all sorts of dried fruit. As it stands I have had to use the Thompson (I think they are Thompson) raisons when what I realllllly want are the golden variety. But if I could I would put dried pineapple, cherries, cranberries. I would also put all sorts of nuts if I did not have diverticular disease! SIGH!

  20. junip says:

    I like puffed rice. It comes in a bag, it costs like $2, and it has one ingredient: puffed rice.

  21. H3ion says:

    There was another study reported today (I think it was in the Washington Post)to the effect that drugs used for certain psychiatric illnesses caused obesity in children surprisingly rapidly, say over a period of weeks, not months. Now I haven’t seen Prozac Pops on my grocer’s shelves but I don’t think we can blame everything on advertising.

  22. SWBLOOPERS says:

    Saw a great parody commercial once:

    “Add fruit and milk and you’ll have all the nutritional value of… fruit and milk.”

    Doesn’t seem to be so much of a parody now, does it?

  23. Brazell says:

    I’m a cheerios guy and regularly have 2 – 3 bowls a day.

    Kashi is on the list, and I LOVE Kashi Heart2Heart… it’s probably my favorite cereal, but the price is a killer. I love Kashi cereal, but it’s $4.25 or so, and you get much less cereal than a large box of cheerios, which runs about the same. I can get about 5 bowls worth out of Kashi, and the last bowl is usually crums or whatevers on the bottom of the bag.

    I eat a lot of cereal, and a lot each serving… But, really, why so expensive Kashi!?

  24. strathmeyer says:

    It’s like horrible American beer. You have to convince them it’s cool to consume something that tastes disgusting in order to get them addicted.

  25. biggeek3 says:

    Do upscale, pilates ball-humping, organic-buying hover-moms even let their precious snowflakes touch this crap? Not in my experience.

  26. Archangelo says:

    Okay, fine; but just how much does Saudi Arabia spend a year trying to push an Islamist agenda on US kids through the NEA and various school systems throughout our country? Has Yale conducted a study on that? Would they dare? Of course, there’s always the possibility that these are both part of one grand plot, and the Saudi’s simply need a bunch of hopped up, psychotic, ADD, Ritalin-addicted kindergarten jihadists cutting a swath for the next wave of the hijra …

  27. HIcycles says:

    I would have to heartly disagree with the author of this post. We don’t need regulation. Parents need to step up and be parents. I check the nutrition label on EVERYTHING that I purchase. And I don’t watch much TV.

  28. verbatim613 says:

    “but regulators need to start taking on these bogus health claims.”

    Huh? I grew up in an age before all this Nanny State Regulation. My parents knew instinctively that “sugar = bad”. Although I hated them for it at the time, we NEVER had any of the “tasty, yummy” sugar cereals at home. Now that I is all growed up, I know my parents did the right thing.

    People need to take personal responsibility for their actions and not rely on the State to bring about Utopia. I don’t need some government agency to tell me that Lucky Charms are bad and that an apple is good.