Children aged 10-14 will indulge in an average of more than two-and-a-half kilograms of chocolate over the Easter holiday - taking in nearly 13,000 calories and 650 grams of fat, a survey revealed today.

The poll, by mystery shopping company Retail Active, found a typical 200g Easter egg has 990 calories and 50 grams of fat, with youngsters eating an average of 13, many first thing on Easter Sunday.



The company, which offers mystery shopping and brand audit services, surveyed 2,000 people via email earlier this week.



Managing director Julian Chamberlain said children could get as many as 13 Easter eggs each.



He said: "Families with two adults in their 40s and two children under 14 could have an amazing cumulative total of 30 Easter eggs in the household over the holiday.



"Seventy-seven per cent of adults allow their children to tuck into their Easter egg binge first thing on Easter morning - before having any breakfast or even a drink.



"Only 3% of the people polled said they look at the nutritional content of Easter eggs and this means that they may be unaware of the huge calorie and fat intake.



"The typical 10 to 14-year-old will eat 2.6kg of chocolate, that's 12,870 calories and 650 grams of fat."



He said 74% of parents and carers said their children eat at least three quarters of all the chocolate they receive before the end of the bank holiday. Only 26% ration their chocolate over a longer period.



The poll also found even 70% of dieters said they would suspend their regime to enjoy the seasonal chocolate fest.



It also revealed the peak age for Easter egg consumption is 10 to 14, with youngsters consuming an average of 13 each, while the 15 to 19 age group weighs in with 11 each.



The 40 to 59-year-olds and over-75s have the lowest consumption, with an average of just one.



The poll found just over half of adults treat Easter in a similar way to Christmas.



Mr Chamberlain added: "It's a big family occasion, with the Easter Bunny playing a central role in the festivities for children of nine and under.



"Seven out of 10 parents have adopted the American tradition of holding a 'hunt the Easter egg' event for their children.



"An overwhelming 88% of consumers said attractive packaging was more important than nutritional content - even though they were aware that eating chocolate to excess may be bad for them."

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