Parents warned to reduce children’s sugar intake
Experts have urged parents to ration the amount of chocolate their children consume as the nation continues to grow and is on course to be the most obese in Europe by 2030.
The concerning statistic comes just ahead of Easter weekend when Irish children will receive an average of five adult-sized Easter Eggs containing a combined 240 teaspoons of sugar.
A survey was carried out by Irish parenting website MummyPages.ie and after quizzing more than 900 mums they found that:
• four in ten children will receive between five and ten eggs
• one in ten receiving a whopping ten to 15 eggs.
The survey also found that around 40% of these eggs will be adult-sized as opposed to the children’s sized eggs.
The difference in sugar content is huge with adult eggs containing 48 teaspoons compared to children’s 12 teaspoons.
Many of the mothers who took part in the survey admitted they are concerned about the sugar intake of the children. More than 90% will ration their child’s consumption.
MummyPages has launched a campaign to urge the government to make it law that food labels display the amount of teaspoons of sugar a product contains.
Spokesperson Laura Haugh said: “While we all know that chocolate is a treat that should be enjoyed in moderation, this kind of labelling would help parents in choosing an appropriate sized egg.
“The temptation at Easter to demonstrate your love for your family members in kilograms of chocolate is easily understood given the huge displays of affordable chocolate on offer at this time of year.
“However too much of this kind of ‘love’ will actually hurt those you care about the most.”
Parents are encouraged to implement a healthy diet for their children and themselves and include plenty of exercise in their daily routines.
The survey also found that grandparents are the guiltiest ‘givers’ of Easter Eggs, followed by aunts and uncles, parents and godparents and finally neighbours.
MummyPages are encouraging adults to find an alternative gift for children at Easter, such as books, toys, clothes or days out.
The research also found that there is a concern amongst parents about their children’s sugar intake. Over 70% of Irish mums think that Easter Egg displays should be limited to just one aisle in supermarkets, and 20% would welcome Eggs being subjected to a sugar tax.
Most mums surveyed said they would want to be asked before another adult gave their child an Easter Egg as a gift. Some even admitted they have intercepted eggs intended for their children without them knowing and then eaten them themselves.