It has been discovered that children of parents with low and medium levels of education eat fewer vegetables and fruit and more processed products and sweet drinks. An international group of experts who are from eight European countries have analysed the relation which exists between parents' levels of education and the frequency with which their children eat food which is linked to being overweight. The results, which have been published in the journal Public Health Nutrition, have confirmed that parents with a lower level of education feed their children food rich in sugars and fats more often than those parents with a higher level of education. The parents with a higher education feed their children more products which has a higher nutritional quality, including vegetables, fruit, pasta, rice and wholemeal bread.
Juan Miguel Fernández Alvira, the author of the work and researcher from the University of Zaragoza to SINC, said, "The greatest differences among families with different levels of education are observed in the consumption of fruit, vegetables and sweet drinks." This implies to the authors there is a greater risk of developing overweight and obesity in children from less advantaged socio-cultural groups.
Fernández Alvira concluded, "The programs for the prevention of childhood obesity through the promotion of healthy eating habits should specifically tackle less advantaged social and economic groups, in order to minimise inequalities in health." This is a serious problem, with the World Health Organization having warned of the importance of monitoring the diet of the youngest members of society. Almost 40 million children under the age of five suffered from overweight in 2010.