Wed, Mar 23, 2016 - Page 5 News List

Poll shows 25% of kids eat junk food every week

Staff writer, with CNA

A survey released on Monday showed that 25 percent of Taiwanese children and teenagers do not eat well, possibly due to a lack of food education.

The survey of 1,577 elementary and junior-high school students was conducted by the Child Welfare League Foundation from Dec. 18 last year to Jan. 8.

It showed that 25.2 percent of respondents on a weekly basis eat foods that are unsuitable for long-term consumption by children.

While 68 percent drink sugary beverages at least once a week, 58.4 percent eat packaged snacks, such as crackers and cookies, at least once a week, the poll showed.

In addition, 43.5 percent eat pastries, such as doughnuts, at least once a week, and 34.6 percent eat sausages or hot dogs at least once a week.

The survey also found that 35 percent of respondents could not identify some of the most common vegetables, 40.5 percent could not differentiate processed foods from natural foods, 66.6 percent were misled by food labels and 53.6 percent could not understand food composition information.

The results showed that 66.1 percent of parents seldom or never shop for groceries with their children, 47.7 percent seldom or never discuss the nutritional value of food with their kids and 44.1 percent do not remind their children to pay attention to ingredients and nutrition information on food packaging.

After a cross-comparison, the survey found that children and teenagers lacking food education are more likely to develop unhealthy eating habits and mistaken notions about foods than those with proper food education.

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