London, Nov 27 : Today's generation does not think even once about the harmful effects of junk food, claims a new survey, which found that a majority of teens are unaware that a junk food-laden diet could potentially shorten their life.
The poll conducted by the British Heart Foundation of 1,100 children, found that 73 percent of eight to 15-year-olds were not aware that a junk food-laden diet could potentially shorten their life.
On the contrary, 45 percent teens believed that the worst effect of junk food could just be putting on weight, tooth problems, getting spots or becoming unpopular.
According to a recent prediction, two thirds of children would be overweight or obese by 2050. But already, almost a third of 10 and 11-year-olds are currently overweight or obese.
The trend has raised fears that today's children may be the first generation that would live shorter lives than their parents.
However, in the BHF survey it was found that 56 percent of youngsters confidently predicted that they would live to be over 80, and 11 percent believed they would even exceed 100 years.
"I know that eating junk food can give you spots and make you put on weight but I'm not really bothered about anything else. The future is too far off to worry about it," BBC quoted Ryan Bolton, 11, from Walsall, as saying.
In fact, the charity released an online game, called Yoobot, that will help children make healthier food choices.
In the game, users create a mini version of themselves - the Yoobot - and then discover how exercise and diet impacts on life expectancy and wellbeing.
Mike Knapton, BHF director of prevention and care, said: "Today's junk food generation can't see beyond the burger box. They are missing the fact that eating unhealthily can have dire consequences on their long-term health.
"The Yoobot is an innovative way for children to explore the effects of eating a diet of junk food. The clock is ticking on the obesity time bomb and it is now more important than ever for children to be educated enough to take control of their diets."