According to a new study, for every piece of candy American children eat, their British cohorts eat two, the Daily Mail reported.
Each year, the average amount spent on sugary treats for children in Britain is $458, more than doubling the $184 spent on the average American child.
This alarming study, conducted by Datamonitor, an independent research company, also found that one in three British children between the ages of five and 13 are overweight or obese, a number that is expected to jump 2.1 percent a year for the next four years. Obesity rates for American children are expected to rise 1.3 percent annually.
By 2014, 38.6 percent, or 2.5 million British children will be overweight, according to the study.
This study raises more concerns over the health implications of rising obesity rates.
In 2004, Members of Britain’s Parliament painted a bleak picture for the health of their youth. They warned that obesity could result in several diabetes-related issues such as kidney failure, blindness and amputations in a large number of people.
“Childhood obesity is a very worrying trend. However, we can do something about it,” Jackie Schneider, of the Children’s Food Campaign said. “Banning junk food advertising on TV before the 9 p.m. watershed, using traffic light labeling on food packaging and increasing eligibility of free school meals are effective ways of changing children’s eating habits.” The Food and Drink Federation rejected the study’s predictions, claiming that obesity levels among young children had leveled off, and other studies have shown a decrease in sales of snacks and sweets.