A new study has found that obese children eat more healthy foods such as fruit, vegetable and fish along with low energy cheese and yoghurt in comparison to normal weight children.
The research has been conducted by Telemark University College and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.
The study claimed that overweight children drank juice and artificially sweetened soft drinks more often, while the normal weight children drank carbonated drinks and ate unhealthy foods and processed foods.
The results suggest that both parents and children have increased awareness of food choices when children are overweight
Overweight children are also less physically active and more likely to have obese parents than normal weight children.
"It is positive that parents and children emphasise healthy food choices. However, it is important to note that the amount of healthy foods must be adapted to a child's activity level to limit further weight gain," said researcher Anne Lise Brantsaeter at the NIPH.
The study of eating habits and obesity included 924 fourth graders (9-10 year olds) in the county of Telemark.
Children's eating habits were assessed by asking how often the child had eaten a variety of foods, both for meals and snacks.
The researchers used this to identify eating patterns that reflect which foods are often eaten together.
The analysis also considered other factors relevant to children's eating patterns and weight, i.e., parents' educational level, income and employment, and if the parents themselves were overweight.