UK kids spend PS413mn a year on chocolate, crisps and fizzy drinks

December 5th, 2007 - 5:32 pm ICT by admin  

London, December 5 (ANI): A survey of family eating patterns in the UK has revealed that sweet-toothed children spend about 413 million pounds a year on chocolate, crisps, and fizzy drinks on their way to school in the mornings.

The survey showed that about on average 1.52 pounds were being spent on treats everyday by 1.3 million primary school children.

While only one percent of the children bought a piece of fruit, one in six said that they skipped breakfast and ate sweets instead.

It was also found that about two million parents were worried about their childrens current state of health. However, still several parents said that they gave their children money despite knowing that they would not spend it on healthy stuffs.

The survey also revealed that one-third of the parents in the UK gave their children pocket money for treats. The figure in Scotland was slightly lower at 27 per cent.

“No-one is saying there isn’t a place for treats in a balanced diet but not having a sensible breakfast can mean that the intake of essential nutrients like fibre, vitamins and minerals is significantly reduced, the Scotland quoted a spokeswoman for Kellogg’s, which commissioned the study, as saying.

“Our research shows that people that skip a balanced breakfast tend to eat almost 21 per cent fewer fruit and vegetables; 8 per cent more meat products; 4 per cent fewer dairy products and a staggering 25 per cent more higher fat and sugar products than their breakfast eating counterparts,” she added.

Nutrition expert Brian Ratcliffe, a professor at the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, cautioned that the children who were not being given a proper breakfast might have to face educational consequences.

“If children don’t have a breakfast to provide an energy boost they find it harder to concentrate with the result they become distracted and distracting to others in the classroom, he said.

“Most of the evidence suggests that breakfast is very important regarding children’s appetites throughout the day. If they don’t eat something substantial they will ‘graze’, leading to an increase in obesity and tetchiness from the high sugar peak from sweets,” he added.

Ronnie Smith, general secretary of the Educational Institute of Scotland, said: “It is generally accepted that bad diet may be contributing to bad behaviour. Restricting youngsters’ access to sweets is part of the solution, as is educating their palate. But policing youngsters to keep them away from their source is extremely difficult.” (ANI)

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