Katie Couric's Notebook: Sugary Cereals

Froot Loops, Cookie Crisp, Reese's Puffs - I almost got a cavity just reading that. Yet, they're the kinds of sugary cereals children beg for at the grocery store.

The boxes and T-V ads usually have a colorful cartoon character on them. But, one group of researchers is not amused.

The Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at Yale University reports that cereal companies spend more than $156 million a year on ads geared for kids.

At a time when 12 percent of U.S. children from ages 2 to 5 are considered obese - along with 17 percent of kids 6 to 11 - this problem is anything but sweet.

All parents have been there in that grocery aisle - having to decide between what the kids want and what you know is better for them.

But maybe some oatmeal for your Little Miss Sweet Tooth can help her avoid big health issues in the future.

Don't let a bunny or a tucan take over your parenting role. Tell them you are coo coo for good nutrition, not for Cocoa Puffs.

That's a page from my notebook.

I'm Katie Couric, CBS News.