A recent study conducted by MyVoucherCodes revealed that junk food is frequently used by parents to reward or control the behaviour of their children. As childhood obesity is a growing concern in the UK, the findings of the report are worrying. Out of 1,200 parents surveyed, almost half admitted to using junk food to bribe their children to behave.
Junk food is routinely given to children as a reward for behaving, according to two thirds of parents surveyed. Sweets, fizzy drinks and takeaways are used by 67 percent of parents who want to stop their kids behaving badly. Worryingly, only seven percent of children are offered fruit as an incentive for good behaviour. The reasons for the junk food rewards include it being cheaper than a gift and the junk food encouraging good behaviour in their children.
Judy More, a child nutritionist speaking to Huffpost Lifestyle said:
“Children deserve to be fed nutritious food to maintain their health, growth and development. Any influences that portray junk foods as normal eating should be banned as it is incumbent on us as a society to teach children healthy eating principles so we optimise their health.”
According to data released from the National Child Measurement Programme, more than 93,000 children aged 11 years old are suffering from childhood obesity, while 73,069 kids are overweight out of 499,867 children. Out of these children, 82 percent will become obese or overweight adults, more likely to develop health problems like diabetes much younger in life.