The snack food habits of schoolchildren, especially munching when they’re watching TV, poses a risk to their health, a survey released yesterday by the Child Welfare League Foundation said.
Foundation executive director Wang Yu-min (王育敏) said each mouthful of snacks contains large amounts of calories, sodium and artificial additives.
“For growing children, this puts a strain on their bodies and causes health issues such as obesity, diabetes and kidney problems,” he said.
The survey of 1,178 fifth and sixth graders was conducted between Feb. 25 and March 13. It reported that 65.7 percent of children said they often ate snacks.
The poll found 15.6 percent of frequent snackers eat snacks every day, with some eating snacks up to five times a day. Potato chips were the most popular snack, followed by instant noodles and chocolate.
The results showed that 37.1 percent of the children often have snacks while watching TV and that they tend to eat more when they are sitting in front of the TV.
Parents are largely responsible for the situation, with 70.2 percent of children saying they got their snacks from their parents.