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What might happen if children couldn’t eat the foods they need?

Children in every group highlighted the risk of death:

“They won’t grow healthy and strong. And probably they’ll die.”

Children mentioned a range physical health challenges:

“If you’re eating junk food every day it can make you ill and give you ulcers, and there’s no room for healthy stuff.”

“They may get heart or liver disease.”

“My dad said you get cancer and headaches if you eat too much unhealthy foods.”

“They start feeling weak.”

A number of children talked about behavioural and emotional challenges:

“It’s really hard to concentrate.”

“They’ll be sad.”

“When you’re hungry all you can think about is food.”

Many children particularly emphasised dental challenges:

“If you eat all this stuff and you don’t brush your teeth you can get cavities.”

“If you eat too many sweets your teeth will grow yellow.”

“They’ll just fall off because of black things.”

Many children were aware of the impact over time, including intergenerational impacts:

“So that they can grow up to be healthy adults, if you do well when you’re young it will help you when you’re older.”

“It grows you big and strong, if babies eat them when they’re still babies, it makes them grow much faster.”

“Because when they’re older their children would take that up.”

In addition to talking about the consequence of not eating the foods children need, one child also talked about exercise being important:

“So that they get really fit it’s important that they get a lot of exercise too.”