Related News

Home » Metro » Public Services

Children consuming leisure food and drinks risk health problems, commission says

SOME leisure foods and beverages consumed by children pose potential hazards for their health, and most parents lack knowledge to provide proper guidance, the Shanghai Consumer Rights Protection Commission said today.

Almost 70 percent of parents said their children eat leisure foods every day or almost every day, and almost 60 percent said their children drink bottled drinks every day or almost every day, a survey on children's snacks by the commission revealed today.

Parents spend 293 yuan (US$47) per month on average buying leisure foods and beverages for their children, according to the commission, which interviewed 900 parents across the city with children aged 3 to 16 years old.

The survey found that, among children between 3 and 7 years old who are frequent consumers of leisure foods, 9.4 percent of them are overweight. The figures are 14.7 percent for 8 to 12 year old children and 25.4 percent for children aged between 13 and 16.

Meanwhile, 9.8 percent of children between 3 and 7 years old who are drinkers of bottled beverages are overweight, compared with 17.1 percent of children between 8 and 12 years old and 23.5 percent for children between 13 and 16 years old.

The city's education authority says that 17.8 percent of Shanghai's children overall are considered overweight.

The survey also found overweight children prefer puffed food (such as potato chips), meat and seafood snack foods and frozen drinks more than children who are not overweight.

As many as 49.8 percent of parents surveyed said they had no idea about nutrition information on food packages.

There is no standard specifically targeting foods consumed by children, the commission said. It called on authorities to draft a Shanghai standard based on the situation and health of local children that would regulate the market and eliminate leisure foods and beverages that are not suitable for children. The standard for snack food and drinks now is the same for adults and children.

The commission tested 132 snack foods and beverages consumed by children and found that many contain high levels of fat, energy or sodium. Some have trans fatty acids.

If adults consume 100 grams of some of these products in a day, the amount of fat or sodium an adult needs per day will already be exceeded, the commission said.

Foods with high fat levels will lead to obesity, while excessive trans fatty acids can affect children's development and cause obesity and coronary heart disease. Too much sodium can trigger cardiovascular disease and cause harm to kidneys, with children the most vulnerable because their organs have not yet fully developed.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend