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Confused about healthy eating? Ask the kids.

Two Public Health surveys have revealed that when it comes to healthy living, children in Gibraltar know more than adults about the food they should be eating.

The surveys organised by the Children, Healthy, Active! Multi-agency Programme [CHAMP] under the GHA aimed to test children and adults on their knowledge of a healthy lifestyle.

Some 40 children and 35 adults took part in the surveys, with the questions differing, and geared to the expected knowledge or each age group.

The surveys found that no adults answered all their questions correctly, with 88% of children getting all their questions right.

Adults were quizzed on what factors cause obesity, and on childhood weight management, healthy foods, and how much exercise a child should do.

The multiple choice survey saw one third of adults score more than eight out of 11 (72%). The rest of the adults scored less.

All children scored more than eight out of 11 in their survey, meaning their lowest grade was above average when compared to the adults.

The questions the adults grappled with most was how many scoops of ice cream is one portion for six year old child.
The answer was half a scoop, much to the mutual surprise of those at CHAMP.

The toughest question for children was whether they should drink soup, water or an energy drink after exercise, as a few children had answered energy drinks.

Other questions the children answered included what types of foods with most vitamins, what foods were the healthiest snacks and why sleeping is important to health.

The surveys form part of CHAMPs initiative to raise awareness and educate parents and children alike about how to lead a healthy lifestyle.

The CHAMP initiative launched last year as a result of a severely overweight child who was admitted into hospital for weight management.

Currently one third of children in Gibraltar are either overweight or obese, this statistic just slightly tops that of the UKs obesity rate.

The global average is much lower at around 16 to 17%.

See more the survey on page 12 of our print or e-editions.

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