Food advertising watchdogs have found that parents play a much more significant role in what their children eat than TV advertising, despite kids’ pestering.

After talking to 1,500 parents across the country, the Food Advertising Unit found that 98% of those questioned said nutritional value was the most important factor when buying food for their children.

It said the adults saw TV advertising as a "way of life", a source for providing information about products and helping in deciding brand choice.

Director of the FAU, Jeremy Preston, said: "We know that children are eating less calories than they were 10 years ago and this latest research underlines the fact that parents are doing well in terms of providing a balanced diet for their children."