Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Children in Scotland are still eating too much sugar

courtesy of Stuart Miles
Much has been written about children’s health and their diets.  But a new survey on the eating, drinking and purchasing habits of schoolchildren living in Scotland reveals that they are still eating too much sugar and saturated fat.

The amount of sugar consumed has reduced since the previous survey in 2006, but children’s intake continues to be much higher than the Scottish Dietary Goals.   Sugars and saturated fat from soft drinks, sweets, biscuits, cakes, yogurt and fruit juice were the major sources.

Dr Wendy Wills, from the Centre for Research in Primary and Community Care (CRIPACC), developed new questions for the survey, to assess what food and drink children purchase ‘beyond the school gate’.

This is the first time that food and drink purchasing has been assessed from a representative sample of children in Scotland. The survey dispels the myth that children usually buy ‘unhealthy’ foods and drinks from burger, chip or ice cream vans outside of schools and paves the way for further research to find out why so many children are choosing to buy food and drink from supermarkets and other outlets.

The dietary and food and drink purchasing survey was undertaken in 2010 on behalf of the Food Standards Agency in Scotland, and was carried out by the University of Hertfordshire, University of Aberdeen and Scotcen.

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