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Fruit and veg? French kids don't give a fig

AFP file photo

As experts worry about rising child obesity in France, a new study has revealed that French children have trouble identifying basic fruits and vegetables with some believing that pasta 'grows on trees'.

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French children aged between 8 -12 have trouble identifying basic fruits and vegetables and have "no idea what they are eating", according to a recent study. 

The survey, commissioned by the French Association of Environment and Health (ASEF) out of concern at rising levels of child obesity, revealed that a significant number of children could not name beetroot, courgettes or figs when shown pictures of these items. Some thought pasta was a vegetable that "grows on trees". 

Eighty-seven percent of kids questioned could not identify a beetroot, while one in three could not put a name to a picture of a courgette or an artichoke. One in five could not name an apricot. 

More than half of the kids did not know what a hamburger patty is made out of. About 40 percent could not say where nuggets or ham come from.

However, more than 90 percent of those surveyed correctly labelled carrots, pears and watermelon.

The organisers of the study said there was a link between a lack of knowledge about foods and rising childhood obesity in France.

“As doctors working in the field we are increasingly confronted with young patients suffering from obesity, who constantly consume sugary products and eat no fruits or vegetables,” the group said, adding that around one-fifth of all French children were overweight.

However they admitted that results of the study may vary if conducted in a different geographical location.  Medium-sized urban centres were chosen for the survey.

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