Figures from a recent European survey showed UK children are the most likely to reject food, and their parents are the most likely to allow the behaviour.
The survey, which focussed on children under the age of five, found that 26 per cent of UK children refused food at meal times at least once a day, in contrast to only 15 per cent of French and German children.
French-born mother Astrid Guler, who lives in London, said: "When I take the tube or the bus I'm always quite amazed when I see kids going to school eating a bag of crisps in the morning, which is quite shocking. And also, when I go shopping and I see the baskets of certain women and what they're buying for their children, it doesn't seem very balanced."
The study also found 43 per cent of UK mothers allowed their children to not eat certain foods because it saved those mothers time and effort.
UK children's food expert Annabel Karmel offered an explanation: "We work longer hours than anyone else in Europe and, as a consequence, parents feel quite guilty about not spending enough time with their children and so often just give children whatever they want to eat just so they're happy."
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