Kids don’t know junk food could kill them

Three quarters are unaware they are risking an early death

Three out of four children are unaware they are risking an early death by eating junk food, according to a new survey.
 

The poll, to be released on Monday at the launch of the British Heart Foundation’s Food4Thought campaign, found 73 per cent of eight to 15-year-olds did not know a poor diet could shorten their lifespan.

Some 45 per cent of respondents said they thought the most dangerous side effects were putting on weight, getting spots, tooth decay and becoming unpopular.

A spokesman for the foundation said: ‘Latest predictions show that two thirds of all children will be overweight or obese by 2050 and today’s youngsters may be the first generation to live shorter lives than their parents.

‘Obviously obesity is a major contributor to heart disease, which is why the BHF is launching Food4Thought, aimed at getting children more active as part of the battle against childhood obesity.’

BHF has launched an initiative called ‘Ultimate Dodgeball’, in attempt to persuade children to show an interest in physical activity. Schools can apply for a guide to the game, balls, posters and sponsorship forms.

This year’s campaign will also see the return of Yoobot, an online game designed to help children make healthier choices about the food they eat and think about taking some exercise.

Children make their own Yoobot and can then see how its health changes over time depending on lifestyle and diet. About 1.25 million Yoobots were created after the game was launched during last year’s Food4Thought campaign.

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