According to a recent food survey commissioned by BBC’s Newsround, a staggering 52 in every 100 kids don’t have any vegetables on a daily basis.
The results show that fruit is also failing to show up children’s daily diets. At least 44 in every 100 kids miss out on these nutritious foods.
Government guidelines recommend that everyone has at least five portions of fruit and veg a day.
This is based on advice from the World Health Organisation (WHO) which highlights the benefits of fruit and veg for lowering the risk of health problems such as type 2 diabetes, obesity and heart disease.
With one in three kids in the UK currently obese or overweight, it is quite possible that a lack of fruit and veg in their diet is contributing to this problem.
It is also well known that children today are consuming large quantities of food high in saturated fat and sugar on a daily basis.
Other findings from the Newsround survey include:
- A third of kids (33%) said they eat unhealthy food more than three times a week.
- Almost a quarter (22%) eat sweets or chocolate every day.
- Fewer than half of kids (47%) have a home cooked meal each day.
- Just under a quarter (23%) have a takeaway or fast food more than three times a week.
In light of these worrying findings, Newsround interviewed expert Dr Radha Modgil who stressed the importance of children eating more fruit and veg:
“It’s important for kids to have a balanced diet. No one is saying that you can’t have sweets or chocolate every now and again but if you’re having those things every day it is going to affect your body.
“The body needs all kinds of things when you’re growing up and it’s so important for kids not to overload on sugary, fatty snacks.”
There were 1,432 girls and boys from all over the UK involved in the survey. Despite the worrying findings, it did show that lots of kids are trying to make changes to their diet and cut back on unhealthy foods.
In fact, eight in 10 children said they had made changes like drinking more water and eating more fruit and vegetables.