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In his judgement, Mr Justice Linden ruled the addition of milk to a breakfast cereal does not skew the fact that it contains excess fat, sugar or salt.

This was the argument brought forward by the Frosties and Coco Pops maker in April in a legal action against the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC). Kellogg’s alleged the HFSS regulations are unlawful​ and noted the nutritional value of breakfast cereals will be assessed by their dry weight as sold, rather than how they are eaten – typically with milk.

“It is self-evident that breakfast cereals are not eaten dry,”​ argued Hickman.

“They are not designed to be eaten in that way, they are not marketed to be eaten in that way and they are not in practice eaten that way.”

He added the HFSS laws would cost the company £113m in lost sales.

Judge’s verdict

However, Mr Justice Linden dismissed Hickman’s case, finding the addition of milk does not affect the fact the cereal is high in sugar. He also rejected Kellogg’s claim the government did not consult parliament properly.

“In my judgment, the true position is the fact that, in their detailed responses, none of the breakfast cereal manufacturers raised the issue during the consultation period of more than a year tends to support the view that the ‘as sold versus as consumed’ issue had long since been resolved, was well understood and was accepted in the sector,”​ he ruled.

He added there was certainly “no dispute” ​that breakfast cereals can be part of a healthy diet. “But the argument that there are nutritional benefits to the consumption of a given breakfast cereal does not affect the point that if it contains excess fat, sugar or salt, that feature of the product is adverse to a child’s health.