Leading nutrition experts have warned that parents are unwittingly hooking their children to sweet treats by bribing them with sweets in order to make them eat when they are toddlers.
According to a survey, nearly 60 percent of the parents admitted that their bribed their kids with sweets in order to make them eat and are thus increasing the chances that the kids get hooked to sweets as they grow older and thereby raising the risk of obesity.
Around 2,000 mothers of children between 1 and 5 years of age took part in the survey and the researchers found that roughly 25 percent of the participants admitted letting their children taste chocolate by the time they turn 9 months old while over half admitting giving chocolate to their kids by the time they are 12 months of age.
"The research is certainly concerning and reflects what I see in my nutritional practice. Parents are introducing chocolate and sweets into their babies and toddlers diets too early. The dietary patterns we lay down from when we wean children may well have an impact on their future food choices and health. Occasional sweet foods are of course fine but foods with lots of added sugar such as chocolate should be avoided on a regular basis and ideally not offered at home where they can easily become part of daily habits", leading nutritionist Yvonne Bishop-Weston said.