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British children spend more on snacks than US

25th June 2010

A new study has revealed that British children are getting fatter at twice the rate of their American counterparts.

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Research from Datamonitor also showed that children in the UK were spending more than double the amount on sugary products, snacks and treats as those living in the United States.

Latest figures show that British children spend an average of £372 on sweets and snacks every year, compared to £150 by children in the US at a time that a third of UK children aged 5-13 - some 2.3m - are overweight or obese.

That is predicted to rise by 2.1% by 2014 and above the 1.3% annual rise expected for the US.

Critics say it showed the Labour government’s drive to cut obesity rates among children had failed in its objectives to tackle childhood obesity.

Jackie Schneider from the Children's Food Campaign said putting the long-term health of children first needed to be the new government’s main priority.

She said measures needed included banning junk food television advertising before the 9pm watershed, using traffic light labelling on food packaging, increasing eligibility of free school meals and providing fresh drinking water in parks.

The Food and Drink Federation, which represents manufacturers, rejected the findings while a government spokesman said that obesity rates among children were levelling off.

He added: “We agree that childhood obesity levels are still too high in the UK and we look forward to working in partnership with the new Government on any initiatives designed to help consumers of all ages lead healthier lives.”

 

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