Teenagers order fast food to be delivered at school in UK and it could be a factor for the increasing rate of childhood obesity, finds a recent survey.
The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH), which polled a small number of 13 to 18-year-olds for their perspective on childhood obesity, has warned further "hard-hitting measures" are needed to tackle the epidemic.
‘The survey among teens on tackling obesity said that four in five believe supermarkets should offer free fruit and vegetables to children to snack on while shopping with their parents.’
The RSPH, along with the Youth Health Movement and Slimming World, surveyed more than 570 teenagers on the childhood obesity epidemic.
They were asked about their own habits as well as potential solutions to the problem. The findings include:
- Half said fast food firms should be banned from delivering to schools, after 25% said they had done this in the past.
- Almost four in five believe supermarkets should offer free fruit and vegetables to children to snack on while shopping with their parents.
- The majority believe that soft drink contents should display the equivalent number of teaspoons of sugar on the packaging.
- 82% think food manufacturers are misleading people when they provide fat, salt and sugar for single servings rather than for the entire product.
Shirley Cramer, the chief executive of RSPH, said: "Our childhood obesity rates are disappointing, and tackling this must be a priority for government - there can be no excuses for fudging action on what is our number one public health challenge."
While we welcome the Government's introduction of a sugar levy on soft drinks, it is absolutely critical that the forthcoming childhood obesity strategy builds on this positive step with a basket of hard-hitting measures, from greater controls on advertising and marketing of junk food to food reformulation.
Professor Neena Modi, president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, described the quantity of children who order fast food at school as a "great cause for concern" - and said schools must be part of the solution.
She added: "It is now well recognised and extremely worrying that UK children leave school more overweight than when they start."