A UK wide survey, released by The Heart Charity, as a part of its Food4 Thought Initiative, has shown that 73% children do not understand the long term health risks of bad diet.
The survey which sought answers from eight to ten year old children, found that half of them had underestimated the risks of a bad diet. In their opinion, bad diet could probably make them overweight, unpopular or give them a bad set of teeth.
To give children a lasting impression of what junk food can do to their health, The charity also released a new online game for children, called 'Yoobot', which would ultimately impress young minds to make healthy food choices.
The survey showed that in Northern Ireland, 26% of children and 59% of adults are overweight.
'Yoobot', the new online game holds promise, as reiterated by BHF director of prevention and care, Mike Knapton. He said, "Today's junk food generation can't see beyond the burger box. They are missing the fact that eating unhealthily can have dire consequences on their long-term health. The Yoobot is an innovative way for children to explore the effects of eating a diet of junk food. The clock is ticking on the obesity time bomb and it is now more important than ever for children to be educated enough to take control of their diets."
The online game allows them to create a version of themselves which can also be personalised with an uploaded photograph. The player has to make dietary and lifestyle choices for the 'Yoobot' and watch it grow. This would also give a fair idea to the player about the consequences of a bad lifestyle on health.
Hoping that the 'Yoobot' will meet its desired objective, Children's Commissioner Patricia Lewsley said, "Children have told me they are concerned about all aspects of their health and wellbeing. The Yoobots are an excellent way to reinforce to children and young people the consequences of a poor diet through innovative web technology."
Access yoobot.co.uk. for more information.