Belfast Telegraph

Monday 24 November 2014

Youngsters 'live on junk food diet'

A survey found that almost a third of secondary-age pupils are eating sweets, crisps and chocolate three or more times a day
A survey found that almost a third of secondary-age pupils are eating sweets, crisps and chocolate three or more times a day

Many British youngsters are still living on a daily diet of junk food and failing to eat enough fruit and veg, a survey suggests.

Almost a third of secondary-age pupils (29%) are tucking into sweets, crisps and chocolate three or more times a day, it warns.

And two in five (40%) say that fizzy or energy drinks are their daily drink of choice.

The poll, commissioned by the British Heart Foundation (BHF), questioned more than 2,000 11-to-16-year-olds about their eating habits.

The findings show that on average, these youngsters eat 2.57 portions of fruit and vegetables a day, with around 25% saying they eat one piece or less.

Overall, nearly nine in ten (88%) are not eating the recommended five portions a day, the BHF said.

Around a third (34%) said they normally eat crisps for lunch, with 31% saying they eat fruit at lunchtime, and 9% eating salad.

More than one in five (21%) eat a chocolate bar at lunchtime, the poll found.

The BHF said that based on the survey results, a child's typical daily diet includes a chocolate bar, crisps, a fizzy drink, an energy drink and a bag of jelly sweets.

It means that from snacks alone, youngsters are eating their way through nearly 30 teaspoons of sugar, more fat than is in a cheeseburger and more than a third of their daily calorie intake.

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