Are parents over-feeding their children?
Parents need advice on how to feed their children - 35% think children need more calories than Dad
As Britain celebrates ‘Parents Week’ a study from the European Food Information Council (EUFIC) suggest that many parents are confused as to how much they should feed their children. For example, 35% of parents surveyed mistakenly thought that children needed more calories than adults.
“Parents’ actively search for nutrition information on the food they buy and want to provide their children with a balanced diet,” explained Dr Josephine Wills, Director General of EUFIC. “The trouble is that they often don’t have some of the very basic information such as how many calories a child should eat each day and so risk over-feeding their children. With obesity levels in children at an all time high in the UK, understanding how much to feed becomes as important as understanding what to feed. A clear understanding of nutrition plays an important role in public health.”
“The good news is that nutrition knowledge among Britain’s parents appears to be pretty good. The greatest problem is confusion around good fats and bad fats.” continued Wills.
Shoppers know that they should eat more fibre and wholegrain and 73% even said they should eat more Omega 3 fatty acids. When asked about a range of 18 different foods and drinks and whether they were high or low in fat, saturated fat, sugar or salt, an average of 69% answered correctly.
When asked about the maximum salt intake per day less than 50% answered correctly but those getting wrong actually under-estimated rather than over-estimated which means that the message is starting to get through.
84% of people understood the different calorie requirements between men and women and 91% knew that elderly people had particular calorific needs. Reassuring news as Britain faces an aging population.
Over 2000 shoppers in three major retailers were questioned to find out how good consumers’ nutrition knowledge is as part of a broader research study in France, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Sweden as well as the UK on in-store behaviour, understanding and use of nutrition information on food labels, and nutrition knowledge.
An executive summary of the results from the pan-European study will be presented on Wednesday 5 November at 09:30 – 09:45 (GMT) via webinar. For those interested by the topic, a detailed presentation with Q&A session will be given by Dr Josephine Wills and Professor Klaus Grunert from 10:00 – 11:30 hours.