A shocking picture of the way [British] children are gorging themselves on sweets, chocolates and snacks was revealed yesterday.
They are getting fat almost twice as quickly as American youngsters as they eat double the amount of sugary and savoury treats.
The disturbing figures suggest that Government efforts to turn back the tide of obesity overwhelming the country’s children are failing.
Independent research company Datamonitor said average annual spending on sweets and chocolates for children in this country is £372 – equivalent to around 850 Mars bars. That is more than double the £150 for American youngsters.
The amount spent on savoury snacks such as crisps is put at £73.24 in the UK, compared with £39.51 in the U.S.
British children also eat more sugary breakfast cereals, ice cream and ready meals.
More than one in three British children aged five to 13 are already overweight or obese.
But that figure is predicted to soar at a rate of 2.1 per cent a year through to 2014, far higher than the 1.3 per cent annual rise expected for the U.S.
And by 2014, some 38.6 per cent of UK youngsters – a total of 2.5million – will be too heavy.