Research shows giving treats to children is still a daily habit

Research shows giving treats to children is still a daily habit

More than 40% of parents give their children crisps, chocolate and sweets at least once a day, according to research carried out by safefood.

The study found that almost three quarters of the parents did not consider them to be treats.

Among children, those aged five and under were given the most treats, with 50% getting a treat "at least once a day or more".

Dr. Cliodhna Foley-Nolan, Director, Human Health & Nutrition, safefood said: "The stand-out disappointing result in this research is that we’ve seen an increase in the number of parents reporting giving food treats daily to children. Parents are really finding this difficult and these products are simply empty calories.

"Over-consumption of these treats, and there is major over-consumption, is a serious threat to our children’s future health. As parents, we need to break the bad habits of giving these every day as it’s now become the norm and not really a ‘treat’ anymore.

Research shows giving treats to children is still a daily habit

The body is urging parents to redouble their efforts to reduce unhealthy treat foods in their childrens diets in an effort to tackle childhood obesity.

Dr Foley-Nolan said: "One of the foundations of our campaign has been the honest and direct feedback from parents and they have told us that they consider this daily food treating as ‘bribing up their kids’ – they routinely give these to ease any difficult situations that arose during the day and to allow themselves a little more peace and quiet.

"However parents also told us they are uneasy about this behaviour. Parents were also surprised to learn that crisps and biscuits fall into the treats category as these have been given as daily staples for example, after school or after dinner at home."

Among those parents who reported cutting back on treats, the three most popular ways were cutting back to weekends only (30%); buying smaller-sized treats (23%) and restricting treats to every other day (23%).


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