Eating Greens Will ‘Not Make Children Happy’: Government Survey

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6th June 2014 16:41 - Health

The Department of Health funded report, carried out by analysts at NatCen Social Research, on figures provided by the Millennium Cohort Study, has found that children who enjoy ‘unhealthy’ things such as sweets, fizzy drinks or television, in moderation are enjoying a happier and more rounded childhood than those who are not allowed them at all.

The report, which is to be presented at the conference of the British Sociological Association, shows that those who enjoy Physical Education (P.E) at school are more likely to report being happy in general and children whose parents enjoy good health also report higher levels of well-being in their own daily lives.

Children left to watch more than five hours of television a day scored lower for well-being than those who watched around an hour a day, so too did those who did not watch any.

The figures, which track the lives of around 13,000 children born in 2000, highlighted how two fifths (40%) who said they liked PE ‘a lot’, separately said they were happy ‘all the time’.

Less than a quarter of those who said they did not enjoy PE spoke of being always happy – suggesting links between health, sport and happiness.

Two fifths (38%) of those who said they were happy ‘all the time’ ate no fruit and vegetables.

Jenny Chanfreau, the lead author, said the difference was not statistically significant but showed that it cannot be claimed that eating greens will make children happier overall.

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