The latest research found that about seven in ten children between the age of 11 and 16 agree that it is important to eat a balanced diet. It also found that only 22% of children in this age group considered it difficult to resist eating too many sweets.
Amanda Lintott, consumer analysts at Mintel, said: “Although the ‘fat epidemic’ in children is spreading and the problem of childhood obesity is widely acknowledged, it would appear that there is a clear acceptance of the basic principles of healthy eating and not overindulging among today’s children.
“But recognising the importance of healthy eating is only half the battle, as children now need to be encouraged to put this in to practice. The message is still not getting through to all children, and there remains further scope for education.”
Despite this increase in awareness found in children, the survey also found that 50% of Mums took little or no interest in what their children eat for lunch. This compares to just one in four parents who aim to give their children the best food they can.
“For many parents packing a lunchbox is the only way they feel that they are setting down some dietary guidelines for their children. In fact, manufacturers and retailers could encourage more parents to do this, by providing convenient healthy options that can be put straight in the lunch box,” says Lintott.
She also points out though that while many parents aim to provide healthy lunch options there will always be competition from sweet shops near schools.