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80% of children would eat healthier food if they knew their heroes did too, finds survey

A worldwide survey conducted by Beko in 18 countries highlights the gap between children's approach to healthy eating vs. their approach to football

Only one fifth of children identified the daily fruit and vegetable recommendation

Today Beko released the results of a global survey that reveals a gap in children's knowledge in healthy eating compared to their knowledge and interest in football.

Last month, Beko, with support from partners FC Barcelona, the Barça Foundation and UNICEF, surveyed over 13,500 children aged 6-10 across 18 countries. The findings show that children are significantly better informed about football than they are about healthy eating, and when it comes to making healthy food choices, they can be positively influenced.

When asked why they eat healthy food, over two-thirds across all 18 countries said they do so because they understand that it is good for them. A further 80% of children said they would be more interested in eating healthy food if they knew their hero took healthy eating seriously too.

Over 70% of children could identify the number of players in a professional football team, but only one fifth knew the recommended portions of fruit or vegetables that they should eat each day. Children in France and in the UK set an impressive example to their global counterparts with 78% and 68% of children answering correctly in comparison to the US (16%), Brazil (11%), Russia (9%), and China (3%).

Beko's 'Eat Like A Pro' campaign is rooted in inspiring children to eat like their heroes. By sharing FC Barcelona players' favourite healthy recipes online, Beko hope that families worldwide will be inspired to recreate the meals at home.

The 'Eat Like A Pro' initiative, in partnership with UNICEF and the Barça Foundation, was launched with the mission to help prevent childhood obesity worldwide. After enlisting support from FC Barcelona heroes in an award-winning online campaign, Beko donated €1 million euros to fund six UNICEF programmes targeting over 500,000 children.

Beko releases the global survey alongside a video starring FC Barcelona player and Eat Like A Pro global ambassador Gerard Piqué, who surprised a group of school children to quiz them on their knowledge of football and food, and inspire them by revealing his own healthy habits.

FC Barcelona Player Gerard Piqué said: "When I was young, I wasn't really interested in healthy eating, I only cared about football, but that all changed when I joined Barça and started to learn with the team nutritionists. It's fantastic to see the passion for the beautiful game among children around the world, and to know that me and my teammates are inspiring them is fantastic. We have an important role to inspire children to eat healthily, and I'm very happy to be able to do that through the Beko Eat Like A Pro campaign."