A new study has revealed that children aged between four and 10 are consuming more than double the recommended level of sugar.
Fewer than one in 10 teenagers and only around one in three adults achieve the recommended fruit and vegetable intake, the National Diet and Nutrition Survey by Public Health England found.
The survey also showed that people consume too much sugar and fat, with men eating too much processed and red meat.
“The results of this survey are extremely worrying. It shows that sugar makes up about three times the recommended daily calorie intake,” said Neena Modi, President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.
In contrast, high sugar and fat foods often have price promotions, which are rarely applied to fruit and vegetables.
For children aged four to ten, average sugar consumption is 53.5 g a day – the equivalent of 14 teaspoons – with sweet drinks making up 27 per cent of intake.
For those aged 11 to 18, the figure is 73.2 g or 18 teaspoons, with fruit juice, smoothies and fizzy drinks accounting for 38 per cent.
The figures show that youngsters’ consumption of sweet drinks has dropped very little in the six years health officials have been collecting data, despite dire warnings of the health dangers.
They are still the biggest source of sugar in the diet of children and teenagers.
The National Diet and Nutrition Survey, using data collected between 2012 and 2014, also found that people continue to consume too much saturated fat and not enough fruit, vegetables and fibre.
There has been no change in consumption of fruit and veg since 2008, with those aged 11 to 18 managing just 2.8 portions per day on average, little more than half the recommended level.
The survey is based on around 21,000 people in Britain who were asked to keep a diary of their eating habits for four days, ‘the Telegraph’ reported.
It found that adults were continuing to eat too much saturated fat, about 11 per cent above recommended levels.