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UCD/HSE report finds differences in obesity risk factors for children in schools in disadvantaged ar

Children in third class who attended schools under the DEIS (Delivering Equality of Opportunity Schools) programme were less likely to eat fresh fruit daily (45.5 per cent) compared to those in others schools (61.1 per cent). They were also less likely to eat vegetables daily (41.6 per cent) compared to students in other schools (56.2 per cent). 

About 61.3 per cent of first-class children attending DEIS schools spent two hours or more watching television during the week, compared to just 30.2 per cent in other schools. Overall, DEIS students from surveyed families also spent more time watching television at weekends.

However, first class DEIS schoolchildren were more likely to play outside for three hours or more at weekends compared to students in other schools (74.9 per cent v 50.5 per cent). In addition, some 29.3 per cent of first class children in DEIS schools walked or cycled to schools, compared with 14 per cent in other schools.

The report collected information on first and third class students through family questionnaires issued in 2010 and 2012. Approximately 3,000 families took part in the study.

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