Is Cocoa Puffs no longer heart healthy? 29. April 2010 William Davis (17) Until recently, Cocoa Puffs enjoyed the endorsement of the American Heart Association (AHA) as a heart-healthy food. For a price, the AHA will allow food manufacturers to affix a heart "check mark" signifying endorsement by the AHA as conforming to some basic "heart healthy" requirements. Odd thing: The list of breakfast cereals on the check mark program has shrunk dramatically. When I last posted about this, there were around 50-some breakfast cereals, from Cocoa Puffs to Frosted Mini Wheats. Now, the list has been trimmed down to 17:Berry Burst Cheerios-Triple BerryCheeriosCheerios CrunchHoney Nut CheeriosKashi Heart to Heart Honey Toasted Oat CerealKashi Heart to Heart Oat Flakes & Wild Blueberry ClustersKashi Heart to Heart Warm Cinnamon Oat CerealMulti Grain CheeriosOatmeal Crisp Crunchy AlmondOatmeal Crisp Hearty RaisinQuaker Cinnamon LifeQuaker Heart HealthQuaker LifeQuaker Life Maple & Brown SugarQuaker Oat BranQuaker Oatmeal Squares - Brown SugarQuaker Oatmeal Squares - Cinnamon According to sales material targeted to food manufacturers, the American Heart Association boasts that "The American Heart Association’s heart-check mark is the most recognized and trusted food icon today . . . Eighty-three percent of consumers are aware of the heart-check mark. Sixty-six percent of primary grocery shoppers say the heart-check mark has a strong/moderate influence on their choices when shopping."So, is Cocoa Puffs no longer heart healthy? I suspect that agencies like the AHA, the USDA, the American Diabetes Association as starting to understand that they have blundered big time by pushing low-fat, having contributed to the nationwide epidemic of obesity and diabetes, and that it is time to quietly start backpedaling. While it's a step in the right direction, judging from the above list of breakfast cereal "survivors" of the check mark program, the criteria may have been tightened . . . but not that much.