Is Cornflakes for breakfast healthy for India?


India is facing an obesity epidemic. Currently an estimated 30 million people in India currently would fall under the obese category.

With this market in place, many organizations have decided to make a play to help us lose weight and fight the obesity epidemic. There are gyms, specialty clinics, fitness diets and portions. Organizations like VLCC have made a huge bang of the buck selling weight loss solutions.

The latest entrant in this market is  Cornflakes. The firm has been trying to make in roads into India for a long time. Their initial entry did not work well as a breakfast alternative. the point is that Indians unlike the westerners like hot breakfast. cornflakes on the other hand is recommended to be consumed with cold mike and not hot milk.


After years of trying to fight that battle  in India came to the position that we could have it anyway we wanted either with hot milk or cold milk. But this positioning was for the children and young adults. In addition they tried positioning it as a supplement having essential minerals like Iron and other micro nutrients that boosted academic performance.

Lately cornflakes has been positioned as a panacea for all those who want to loose weight. Especially targeting women who are generally more weight conscious.  But is a Cornflakes good for us ?

A 2009 article in Times of India showed the results of some research done on popular Corn Flakes and Muesli brands. The brands included Kellogg, Bagrry’s and Good earth. The research found these brands have more than double the sugar prescribed. According to European Regulation on Health and Nutritional Claims (ERHNC), “sugar content higher than 12.5 gm per 100 gm is considered to be high’. All variants in the study were found to be exceptionally high’ in sugar. And not even a single product had printed the sugar content on its packet. ”

The link to the article can be found here.

Now I am not sure if that situation changed ever since 2009.

In another article from the Indian fitness site FitHo, I found some rather discerning calculations.

Recently I found this video on You Tube that shows exactly the dangers of eating Cornflakes and treating it as a healthy alternative for breakfast,


According to the article not only are cornflakes unhealthy for breakfast, they should be totally avoided by anyone trying to lose weight. A box of cornflakes contains the following- Corn, Sugar, Malt, Corn Syrup high on Fructose. These ingredients especially the Corn syrup contain High Glycemic Index( GI) Carbohydrates. What a high GI carbohydrates does is raise the level of sugar rapidly in the blood stream. This causes the brain to direct the pancreas to release insulin. The release of insulin automatically decreases the sugar level. This creates a situation where the body is suddenly without sugar and feels lazy and lifeless. Most of us would have experienced that situation after a white rice or a white bread meal.Brain then sends an automatic signal to the body to resume eating as a false sense of starvation leads to further eating. As a matter of fact an adult size portion of cornflakes consists of almost 350 calories. This means it has high carbohydrates and less proteins, making it a very dangerous meals for diabetics and those in the pre-diabetes phase.

So technically a Corn Flakes diet cannot help one in losing weight and would not lead to children having a balanced diet as breakfast just before school.

In another report it is stated that the Iron levels in cornflakes is much lower than the prescribed levels. Referring again the article in Times of India and I quote ” The study also found that compared to the published iron content on the packaging of 23.3 mg per 100 gm, the results showed that Kelloggs’s Choco Smacks, Kellogg’s corn flakes with real banana and mango, and Kellogg’s Frosties contained only 8.7 mg to 12.3 mg of iron per 100 gm. ”

In addition India has around 50 Million diabetics and also has the famous belly gene which already causes obesity related complications especially among the upper strata of society.

In conclusion through Corn Flakes is a tasty meal we probably should not use it as an alternative to either a balanced diet or exercise. A good breakfast would still be Fruits and Vegetables followed by a traditional Indian fare like Idly or Upma.

In an earlier piece I have quoted how the idly can solve India’s nutrition problems, the piece can be found here .

As always I want your opinion on the same. Do you feel Corn Flakes is the answer ? Do you think that they have mitigated some of the nutrition challenges since 2009 ? Please do write in and I would love to get more people involved in this debate..



Dr. Vikram Venkateswaran

Management Thinker, Marketer, Healthcare Professional Communicator and Ideation exponent

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. suresh

    interesting research !!

    1. admin

      Thank you Suresh. How is life in Sweden ?

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