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updated 12/23/2010 3:23:26 PM ET 2010-12-23T20:23:26

Starting next month Post Foods LLC will reduce the sugar content of its Fruity and Cocoa Pebbles cereals in order to provider a healthier food option for children.

The cereal maker, whose other brands include Post Shredded Wheat, Honey Bunches of Oats and Post Grape-Nuts, is the latest in a series of food companies to address the increasing nutritional concerns of consumers and their heightened awareness about childhood obesity.

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Other businesses that have made changes to their products include PepsiCo Inc., which announced earlier this year that it was launching new instant oatmeal with 25 percent less sugar. General Mills Inc., maker of Lucky Charms, Trix and Cocoa Puff, announced in December 2009 that it was cutting the amount of sugar in 10 of its cereals to single-digit grams of sugar per serving.

Post Foods, a subsidiary of Ralcorp Holdings Inc., said Thursday that it will cut the sugar content of Fruity and Cocoa Pebbles to 9 grams per serving from 11 grams.

The two rice-based cereals feature cartoon character Fred Flintstone on their boxes. Fruity and Cocoa Pebbles were both introduced in 1971, according to the Post Foods' website. Fruity Pebbles is available in 11-ounce, 15-ounce and 34-ounce sizes, while Cocoa Pebbles is offered in 11-ounce and 15-ounce sizes. Other varieties available include Cupcake Pebbles and Marshmallow Pebbles.

Post Foods says all of its Pebbles cereals are low fat and cholesterol free.

Aside from lowering the sugar content of Fruity and Cocoa Pebbles, Post Foods said both cereals will be certified as gluten free. Gluten is a protein that occurs naturally in wheat, barley and rye that some people's bodies cannot tolerate.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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