November 23, 2011
The real five-a-day? UK kids feast on chocolate, energy
drinks and crisps
Our new survey results reveal UK kids are turning
their backs on fruit and veg in favour of snacks loaded with fat,
salt and sugar.
Nearly one in three UK kids (29%) is indulging
by eating sweets, chocolate and crisps three or more times a day.
And almost half of kids surveyed (40%) also admit they
normally drink fizzy or energy drinks during the
In contrast, almost nine in 10 kids surveyed
(88%) were not eating the recommended five portions of fruit and
veg each day. In fact, children were more likely to have
crisps at lunch (34%) than fruit (31%).
With a third (32%) of children in England aged
11-15 now overweight or obese, we've revealed
the worrying survey results as it launches its Food4Thought campaign, aimed at helping to
tackle childhood obesity.
How many UK kids normally drink fizzy or energy drinks every day?
survey of 2,000 11- to 16-year-olds helps give a unique snapshot of
their daily diet. Based on the results, the charity calculates
a child’s typical daily diet
includes one packet
of crisps, one chocolate bar, one bag of chewy jelly sweets, one
fizzy drink and one energy drink.
That means kids are consuming almost 30
teaspoons of sugar (118g), more fat than a
cheeseburger, and over a third of their daily calorie
intake from snacks alone.
Victoria Taylor, our Senior Dietitian, said:
“Five-a-day seems to have a whole new meaning for some young
people. They are consuming an alarming amount of fizzy
drinks, sweets, chocolate and crisps as a regular part of
their daily diet.
“It’s already been suggested that this
generation of children may not live longer than their
parents due to the implications of their lifestyle on
levels of obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart
“We’ve all got to realise that this
generation’s food choices today could have long term
consequences on their future health.”
Healthy vending machines
To launch the Food4Thought campaign,
we're working with 30 schools across the UK to set up
healthy vending machines. The pilot project aims
to encourage school pupils to eat healthier snacks and meals during
the school day.
The pupils will play a key role in deciding
how the vending machines are run with one school winning a
prize at the end of the school year. If
successful, we hope other schools will use their model to set
up their own healthy vending machines in the future.