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One in ten parents thinks Jaffa Cakes, chips and cola are "fruit and veg"!!


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The five-a-day dunces: One in ten parents thinks Jaffa Cakes, chips and cola count as your fruit and veg


By Fiona Macrae

Last updated at 11:45 AM on 14th November 2008




Perhaps it's the orangey bit in the middle which fools them.

For although most of us wouldn't consider a Jaffa Cake a particularly healthy snack, one in ten parents apparently thinks they pass as fruit.

And according to a survey into family eating habits, Jaffa Cakes aren't the only food to cause confusion.


article-0-03EEE8920000044D-277_468x343.jpg Unbalanced diet: Chips are mistakenly thought to count towards a child's intake of fruit and vegetables


Cola, chips, spaghetti hoops and orange squash are also mistakenly thought to count towards a child's intake of fruit and vegetables, researchers found.

Overall, only one in five families ensures their children eat the recommended five portions a day. And one in 20 children have diets totally free of fruit and veg, according to the poll.

Nutritionist Vanessa McConkey said: 'It is both disappointing and concerning to see that the five-aday message isn't getting through clearly enough to parents. Good eating habits start at home and British parents need to get their children into the habit of eating more vegetables and fruit.'







Parents with under-14s were asked about their eating habits for the poll conducted for canned and frozen vegetable firm Green Giant.

One in five thought that fruit-flavoured sweets, spaghetti hoops and orange squash counted towards the daily target.

And although one in ten believed Jaffa Cakes, chips and cola contributedone in 20 thought oranges or bananas didn't. Meanwhile, 15 per cent of parents said they didn't think it was their job to teach their children about healthy eating.

They believed grandparents, teachers, doctors and celebrity chefs were better qualified to do so.

A university study of the dietary and exercise habits of more than 2,000 nine and ten-year-olds identified a similar trend.

The majority of the boys and girls met Government guidelines of exercising for a least an hour a day, according to the research, carried out by the University of East Anglia and the Medical Research Council.

However, just 41 per cent ate at least one piece of fruit and one serving of vegetables a day, the journal BMC Public Health reports.

Tam Fry, an expert on child health and diet, said the results showed that neither parents nor children knew what constituted a healthy diet.

Mr Fry, of the Child Growth Foundation and the National Obesity Forum, said: 'The major problem-is that we have got a generationof parents and a generation of children who think that a potato is a thin white slither which you take out of the freezer.

'I don't think anyone would deny that the fruit and vegetable message is anything but the right one to give.

'The problem is that sometimes it doesn't taste too nice.'

One apple, two plums or half a grapefruit counts as one of the recommended five a day.

Eight Brussels sprouts, three heaped tablespoons of sweetcorn or two spears of broccoli also count as a serving.


  • Middle- class families are the most likely to have obese children, officials say.

Although affluent families know all about healthy eating and the importance of exercise, they are in 'denial' about changes they need to make, the Government study found.

The Department of Health said this group, which it called 'The Treaters', was the most to blame for the childhood obesity epidemic.

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