The modern generation of teenagers have started to develop improved eating habits compared to the previous decades – but ‘skipping meals’ still
Between 2000 and 2010, the proportion of teenagers that ate crisps and other fatty foods (on most days) halved, with sweets showing a very similar pattern – a decline of nearly 50%. Dr Regis and a team from the ‘School Health Education Unit’ stated that “teenagers are eating better” according to official figures. Figures from 1987 show that 1/3 of 14 to 15 year olds had a sugar-coated breakfast on most days. This figure dropped dramatically to 16% in 2010. As for fatty foods, figures from 2000 show that 25% of 12 to 13 year olds claimed they ate chips or roast potatoes on most days. This dropped in 2010 to just over 10%.
It’s not just reduction, reduction, reduction. Figures also show that teenagers have been consuming more vegetables (looks like the ‘5 a day’ campaign has been working!) In 2010, almost half of 12 to 13 year olds said they ate vegetables on most days – up from around a third of the equivalent group in 1999.
However, whilst these figures may seem all fine and dandy, there are still worrying figures which show that the amount of teenagers skipping lunch is on the rise. Since 1986 there has been a constant rise in the number of pupils who do not eat lunch and it does not look like it is going to change soon. The constant rise has been blamed on the amount of teenagers wishing to lose weight via the process of skipping meals (may I also add, it is not a very worthwhile or useful dieting method.) Luckily, the amount of teenagers skipping breakfast hasn’t seen much a change due to lots of information about breakfast being “the most important meal of the day”.
Dr. Regis said the first set of results were down to “schools serving better meals” and that “tuck shops are no longer a ‘sea’ of fizzy drinks and sweets”. He also said something which would end this article rather nicely:
“A bit of listening to what teenagers are really thinking wouldn’t go amiss.”
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