In an age of fast and junk food, a new study has revealed that British children favour snacks filled with sugar, fats and salt and choose not to eat healthier options, like fruits and vegetables, for a balanced diet.

According to the survey, nearly one in three children prefer to indulge themselves in eating sweets, chocolate and crisps three or more times a day. The study also showed that almost 40 percent of the children normally drank energy or fizzy drinks during the day, in comparison to water or fruit juices.

The study also showed, against the backdrop of growing obesity rates in the country, that almost 9 in 10 children did not eat recommended five portions of fruits and vegetables. It was also noted that approximately a third (34 percent) said they normally ate crisps for lunch, another approximate third (31 percent) said they ate fruits at lunchtime and a small 9 percent ate salads. The poll also found that more than one in five children ate a chocolate bar during lunchtime.

The survey, commissioned by the British Heart Foundation (BHF), questioned more than 2,000 11-to-16-year-old children about their eating habits. Based on the results, the BHF said that a UK child's typical daily diet includes a one packet of crisps, one chocolate bar, one bag of chewy jelly sweets, one fizzy drink and one energy drink.

The study revealed children were consuming almost 30 teaspoons of sugar (118gm), more fat than a cheeseburger and over a third of their daily calorie intake from snacks alone.

"Five-a-day seems to have a whole new meaning for some young people. They are consuming an alarming amount of fizzy drinks, sweets, chocolate and crisps as a regular part of their daily diet. It's already been suggested that this generation of children may not live longer than their parents due to the implications of their lifestyle on levels of obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease," said Victoria Taylor, Senior Dietician, BHF.