Could packed lunches be fuelling childhood obesity?

According to research released by the Children’s Food Trust, a typical packed lunch serves up more than a six year old’s daily sugar limit.

Sugary drinks, chocolate biscuits and crisps were found to be staples of many children’s packed lunches.  Despite fresh fruit being the 3rd most common item (after bread and margarine), biscuits were the 9th most popular, with crisps coming in 12th, sugary drinks 13th and cakes 17th.

The chief executive of the Children’s Food Trust, Linda Cregan said ‘one of the problems we have got is that one in five children starting school is overweight or obese’.  With obese children more likely to become obese adults and have health problems such as diabetes and high blood pressure, it is an issue that is concerning to many.

It could be that some parents are choosing unhealthy snacks because their children are pestering for them.  It is also not always easy to go for the healthy foods when it is often cheaper and easier to pick less healthy options in the weekly shop.

Many doctors and healthy eating charities would like a restriction on the sales of sweets at supermarket checkouts and for food companies to reduce the amount of sugar in their products.

To read more and see some examples of packed lunches, click here.