Thanks to reader Maira Bes-Rastrollo at the University of Navarra in Spain (and whose work I greatly admire) for this one.
The Relationship of Ready-to-eat Cereal Intake and Body Weight in Adults: A Systematic Review of Observational Studies and Controlled Trials. Lisa M Sanders, Mary R. Dicklin, Yong Zhu, Kevin C. Maki. Advances in Nutrition https://doi.org/10.1016/j.advnut.2023.05.001
Objective: to evaluate the effect of RTEC [Ready to eat cereals] intake on body weight outcomes in observational studies and RCTs [randomized clinical trials] in adults.
Methods: A search of PubMed and CENTRAL databases yielded 28 relevant studies, including 14 observational studies and 14 RCTs.
Results: Results from observational studies demonstrate that frequent RTEC consumers (usually ≥4 servings/week) have lower BMI, lower prevalence of overweight/obesity, less weight gain over time, and less anthropometric evidence of abdominal adiposity compared to non-consumers, or less frequent consumers.
Conclusion: RTEC intake is associated with favorable body weight outcomes in adults in observational studies. RTEC does not hinder weight loss when used as a meal or snack replacement within a hypocaloric diet.
Support: This research was supported by Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition, General Mills, Inc. The funding sponsor provided comments on early aspects of the study design, reviewed the final data, and provided input to the manuscript.
Conflicts of Interest: LMS is a consulting scientist and MRD and KCM are employees of Midwest Biomedical Research which has received research funding from General Mills, Inc. and Kellogg Company. LMS has received funding from Kellogg Company. YZ is an employee of General Mills, Inc.
Comment: This is an industry-sponsored, designed, influenced, if not conducted, and written study with one goal: to make you believe that eating breakfast cereal is better than any other breakfast choice. If a Journal of Industry-Funded Marketing Studies existed, this paper belongs right there. I don’t often see examples as straightforward as this one, and didn’t want you to miss it.