28 September 2006

Crisp-loving kids are drinking oil

Eating just one packet of crisps every day is equivalent to ‘drinking’ five litres of cooking oil a year – that’s the message the British Heart Foundation are giving consumers.

Eating just one packet of crisps every day is equivalent to ‘drinking’ five litres of cooking oil a year – that’s the message UK charity, the British Heart Foundation (BHF), are giving consumers in a bid to halt unhealthy snacking among children.

The organisation has released a shocking advert warning parents about the danger of allowing children to consume too many crisps.

With the campaign, crisp manufacturers have become the latest snack makers to feel the effects of the anti-obesity drive and it’s likely companies will see a further downturn in already-struggling sales as a result.

The BHF advertisement shows a girl slugging from a bottle of cooking oil and carries the words: “What goes into crisps, goes into you.”

Two or more packets a day
In studies undertaken by BHF it was discovered that one in five UK children, between the ages of eight and 15, ate two or more packets of crisps a day. A statistic that the charity claims is equivalent to ‘drinking’ at least nine litres of oil a year.

According to BHF, an average 35g bag of crisps contains two and a half teaspoons of oil while a 50g bag has three and a half.

The foundation are aiming to raise awareness of the unhealthy aspects of crisp production, but BHF warned other so-called junk foods had to be tackled in the same way.

BHF medical director Professor Peter Weissberg said: “I am concerned we are a nation drowning in excess oil, salt and sugar as we and our children continue to ignore the warnings and consume excessive amounts of unhealthy foods. Crisps are just the tip of the iceberg.”

A tonne every three minutes
Figures from market researchers Mintel suggest Britons eat a tonne of crisps every three minutes.

But between 2002 and 2005, crisp sales overall slumped by nine percent due primarily to greater awareness of their high fat and high salt content.

Health concerns do not appear to be deterring the younger market, however, as Mintel reports that children’s snacking is taking a growing share of the adult snack market each year.

Children’s snacks now account for 46 percent of the market overall whereas six years ago, the figure was 38 percent. - (Decision News Media, September 2006)


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