A recent survey into the eating habits of Taiwanese children has revealed that the top five vegetables most disliked by local kids are bitter gourd, eggplant, mountain yam, pumpkin and green pepper. The survey also showed that 30 percent of children with unbalanced diets are likely to suffer from constipation, and they are also three times more likely than kids with healthy diets to need to move their bowels just once every four or more days.
In May this year, the Child Welfare League Foundation interviewed children from grade four to six as part of its study, the State of Unbalanced Diets Among Taiwanese Children in 2010. With the help of more than a thousand valid questionnaires, the foundation’s findings suggest that the dietary habits of Taiwanese children are unhealthy.
The Department of Health recommends that people eat five portions of fruit and vegetables per day, but the survey revealed that 47 percent of children don’t eat a single portion of fresh fruit per day, while 36 percent don’t manage one portion of vegetables. The study also found that 20 percent of children go five days without a single portion of fresh fruit or vegetables.
Of the children who took part in the study, 24 percent were getting an inadequate amount of at least one of the five major food groups: cereal, vegetable, fruit, milk, and fish. Furthermore, 18 percent only ate a limited range of food types. Using the aforementioned data, the study concluded that on average one in three Taiwanese children have unbalanced diets.
Bitter gourd tops the list of the most disliked fruit and vegetables, with 78 percent of children saying they disliked it. Eggplant was second on the list, with 60 percent of children avoiding it, while mountain yam, pumpkin, and green pepper were all disliked by over 45 percent of the respondents.
The report also asked the children to give the various reasons why they disliked the food. The study found that 82 percent didn’t like the taste, 74 percent also thought these foods were “yucky,” and 30 percent said that the food was too hot or made them choke on it. “Strange color” and “strange shape” were also listed as reasons for disliking a food.
(LIBERTY TIMES, TRANSLATED BY TAIJING WU)