General Mills accused of misleading customers with Cheerios Protein

A consumer advocacy group is suing General Mills, accusing the cereal manufacturer of misleading customers with a new product called Cheerios Protein.

Ask a typical mom what she thinks about Cheerios Protein and you'll probably hear, "Oh, higher in protein, that's a good thing to have for breakfast," like Tiffany Clark said.

But in a new lawsuit, food watchdogs the Center for Science in the Public Interest say you should think twice before giving your kids a bowl for breakfast.

"You're getting a little more protein but it's not worth the price of four teaspoons more sugar," Dr. Michael Jacobson said.

Talk a walk down the cereal aisle and you'll find Frosted Cheerios, Fruity Cheerios, even Chocolate Cheerios.

So it's hard to believe that this newcomer, Cheerios Protein, actually packs the most sugar.

According to CSPI, for the same 200-calorie serving, regular Cheerios has 6 grams of protein. Cheerios Protein has 6.7 grams.

But looking at the sugar breakdown, the same 200 calories of regular Cheerios contains just 2 grams of sugar but Cheerios Protein Oats & Honey has a whopping 16 grams.

"People are being cheated. Not only is General Mills giving you so much more sugar, they're also charging you more for this product," Jacobson said.

If you read the label, Cheerios Protein includes nine different sweeteners, ranging from brown sugar to corn syrup to molasses.

In a statement, General Mills told ABC News, "Cheerios Protein is accurately labeled. An equal amount of Cheerios Protein contains 18 percent more protein than regular Cheerios.

Yet they did not respond to repeated questions about the amount of sugar.

CSPI is asking for unspecified damages and for General Mills to change the way it markets Cheerios Protein.
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