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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 April, 2003, 05:52 GMT 06:52 UK
Children reared on ready meals
Children eating takeaway meals
One third of Welsh children eat takeaways regularly
More children in Wales eat ready meals than in any other part of the UK.

A new consumer study has revealed that 44% of Welsh children eat a convenience meal a few times every week, and a third have takeaway food in the same period.

The survey of eating habits, for Sainsbury's supermarket also found a third of people in Wales did not think they had a healthy, balanced diet.

And 72% have been on a diet, making the Welsh the second most likely to try to slim down. Top were the Scots, with 75% admitting trying to lose weight.

People in Wales, along with East Anglia, were also more likely to prefer good food to sex, with 34% opting for a plate of their favourite food instead of a night of passion.

The results of the survey show a worrying trend for the health of the younger generation.

Cooking

Children across the country are eating more takeaway and ready meals than ever, while less and less of them are learning to cook for themselves.

Instead of reaching for the calorie counter we should be eating more fresh fruit and vegetables
Jane Curran

Only 26% said they cooked once or twice a week, while the average was less than once a month, and one in five has never cooked at all.

One in 16 children has been put on a diet by their parents, although perversely, many of the parents admitted they do not think diets work.

General nutritional knowledge among adults scored poorly - when asked to list six foods in order of fibre content, 65% got at least five wrong.

Dieting

One third of people also got a list of foods in order of their fat content completely wrong.

However, an alternative to a meat-led diet seems to be on the increase, with 37% saying they buy less meat now, and 25% buy more meat substitutes.

Jane Curran, food and drink editor for Sainsbury's Magazine, said: "We still seem to be a nation obsessed with dieting.

"Instead of reaching for the calorie counter we should be eating more fresh fruit and vegetables."




SEE ALSO:
School meal changes bear fruit
19 Feb 03  |  Scotland


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