Poor food knowledge among children

The British Nutrition Foundation has found that UK schoolchildren believe that carbohydrate contains more calories than fat. Fat actually contains 9 calories per gram while carbohydrate contains 4 calories per gram. The survey of 13,100 school children was conducted as part of the British Nutrition Foundation’s (BNF) Healthy Eating. The week is designed to teach children in nursery, primary and secondary schools about healthy eating, cooking, food provenance and the benefits of physical activity.

The survey also highlighted that that while the majority of children have a good understanding about food origins, there are still misconceptions to be addressed: 25% of 5 - 8 year olds and 14% of 8-11 year olds who took the survey thought that bread comes from animals, while 26% of 5 - 8 year olds and 22% of 8 - 11 year olds thought that cheese comes from plants. In addition almost 20% of primary school children thought that potatoes come from animals, while 25% of primary children and 13% of 8 - 11 year olds thought that pasta comes from animals.

On the whole, secondary school children’s knowledge about micronutrients is encouraging with 74% accurately matching vitamin C with citrus fruit and 83% matching calcium with dairy products. The research also shows that 85.5% of children aged 5 - 16 years know that they should eat five or more portions of fruit and vegetables each day, 26% of primary school children and 48% of secondary school children know that they should drink between 6 - 8 drinks each day and children as young as 5 - 8 years old understand the value of eating fish, with 96% saying we should all eat some fish each week. Similarly, secondary school children know that eating oily fish is recommended and 58% correctly say we should eat two portions each week. However, this knowledge doesn’t translate into behaviour, with only a small proportion of children achieving the above.

Posted: 06/06/2014 11:21:50 by Laura Keaver


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