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Parents Under Fire For Lack Of Interest ....


Active Member
Sep 10, 2004
ONE in three parents takes little interest in their children's eating habits, new research has found.

The group of so-called "relaxed parents" amounts to some 5.3 million people in Britain, according to the report on childhood obesity by the consumer researcher Mintel.

More than two-fifths of fathers took little interest in their children's food, compared to 27 per cent of mothers.

It also showed a further 17 per cent were "indulging parents", giving children food regardless of the fat content.

Last week, the British Medical Association called for a ban on junk food advertising and for new laws to cut salt, sugar and fat in pre-prepared and ready meals following a report that said one in three of all obese children in Europe are British.

The latest figures for Scotland show that one in three children is overweight by the age of 12, costing the NHS £171 million each year.

Dr Diane Jackson, a research scientist at the Rowett Institute near Aberdeen, who has studied childhood obesity, said she was surprised at the results, given the massive coverage of healthy eating issues in recent years, including the recent intervention from Jamie Oliver on school meals.

She said: "My experience is some parents are very interested in what their children eat and try their best, but others still think whatever they give their kids now isn't going to have an effect on the children.

"Some parents feel it's enough to get their children to eat in the first place and eat lots of whatever they're given and don't really worry about whether it's healthy or not."

Dr Jackson thinks the lack of interest parents show in their children's eating may have consequences later in life.

"From the research I've seen, it's pretty obvious a lot of our food preferences are set at a young age and food you're exposed to as a child can set your eating habits for life."

Ian Tokelove, a spokesman for the Food Commission, said: "It's essential parents take an interest in what their children eat because they are laying the foundations for future health."

He thinks the apathy shown by some parents is down to a lack of basic education about food and cooking.

He added: "Many parents today would have received limited education on cooking and nutrition and if they have grown up with pre-packed food then it will be hard for them to ensure their children have a healthy diet.

Its not hard to eat healthy, there is plenty of variety out there for kids and adults if the adults eat healthy just give the kids the same and dont give in if they say they dont like it. They will learn to eat it or go hungry