According to the UK’s Telegraph, researchers found that British children spend twice as much on junk food than their American counterparts. The average British child spends the equivalent of $570 per year on candy alone (that’s enough for 850 Mars bars), whereas an American child spends $230. Kids in the UK were also found to eat more pre-prepared meals, ice cream and sugary breakfast cereals. The study did not bode well for the success of the British Government’s anti-obesity campaign, which recently suffered from a major funding cut.
Over a third of British children are obese, and that number is projected to increase at a rate of 2.1 percent a year until 2014, while childhood obesity in the US is expected to increase at a rate of 1.3 percent. Food manufacturers, however, are disputing the claims.
The figures are not encouraging for public health in either country. Jackie Schneider, of the UK’s Children’s Food Campaign, said the “long-term health of our children first” needed to be the government’s main priority.