Fewer parents concerned by childhood obesity, survey finds

Fewer parents than ever before are concerned about childhood obesity, falling from 35% in 2007 to 21% now, according to a new study by Bord Bia.

The majority of parents claim they try to make sure their children have a balanced diet, despite four in 10 admitting that it is hard to get them to eat vegetables.

A 2015 study by the by the National Nutrition Surveillance Centre at University College Dublin found that over 20% of children in fourth class and above are overweight or obese.

Bord Bia’s PERIscope study, claimed to be the largest quantitative study of its kind in Ireland, also found that more than half of people in Ireland are confused by food labelling.

The figures show almost all people (88%) recognise it is important to eat healthy, but less than half (40%) feel they have a balanced diet.

The perception of ‘low fat’ as a healthy choice is experiencing decline, down from 71% in 2006 to 58% now. Sugar is also under pressure, with 59% checking for sugar content. Some 71% are conscious of their children’s sugar intake.

Just three in 10 people say they are confident they could produce a good Sunday roast, although cooking from scratch is showing growth over time rising from 46% in 2005 to 69% now.

Half of us bring our lunch to work, with 40% admitting to getting a takeaway once a week.

Speaking today, Grace Binchy, consumer insight manager, Bord Bia spoke about the importance of the study to Ireland’s food and drink industry.

"This level of knowledge and consumer understanding allows our food and drink producers, selling at home and abroad, to make well informed business decisions that serve customers’ needs better," she said.

"For instance, we know that nearly 70% of those surveyed want help to eat well. With this in mind, manufacturers should consider how they can help people to do just that, as well as digest nutritional labelling, create convenience in their lives and address changing perceptions around sustainability."


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