A YouGov survey found just over half (58 per cent) of eight to 15-year-olds eat healthy snacks such as fruit, vegetables, seeds or rice cakes compared with 89 per cent who choose “standard” snacks including crisps, biscuits, confectionery and cakes.
And children prefer confectionery to fruit, by 63 per cent to 54 per cent.
Almost seven in 10 children snack at least once a day, with 16 per cent doing so twice a day or more.
Fruit is the post popular snack among UK adults (51 per cent), followed by crisps (43 per cent), sweet or chocolate biscuits (40 per cent), chocolate bars (36 per cent) and other chocolate confectionery (27 per cent).
YouGov research director James McCoy said: “Anyone concerned about childhood obesity in Britain will likely find this report alarming. While it’s encouraging that fruit rates highly as a snack choice for children, they are still eating far more crisps and confectionery products.”