Government backs off plan to remove cartoon characters from cereal boxes

Tony the tiger has been the face of Frosted Flakes cereal for almost 60 years and it looks like his run will continue. A coalition of government agencies looking at childhood obesity and how food is marketed to children had considered asking companies to drop the cartoon mascots but backed off on Wednesday.

Theresa Lewis knows her 9 month old son will be drawn to the cartoon mascots on Frosted Flakes and Cocoa Puffs but she also believes the government should stay out of the cereal aisle and let her make the choices instead. Lewis says teaching her son about healthy eating is up to her

"I think sugar is all about the parents and if you give it to them, you give it to them," said Lewis as she played with her son at Onondaga Lake park.

Sharon Fletcher has three kids and said the government has more important things to worry about than cartoon characters on cereal boxes.

"They've been around forever and why would you take them away now? Many generations grew up with them and what makes it different now?"

The cartoon characters catch the eye of five year old Autumn Hilliard- but her parents aren't worried about them.

"We pay careful attention to it and we know that when we get in that cereal aisle, all of the brightly colored boxes with the sugar in it is where she can reach them so we just choose our own and so from there just try to ignore the rest," said her mother, Jennifer Hilliard.

Autumn says Cheerios are her favorite cereal now.

The government agencies are still working on guidelines for food companies in regard to how food is marketed to children under 11. The final guidelines will be completely voluntary.