UK parents are unaware of which foods contain Omega 3 and how children can gain more of it. One in three parents identified carrots as being naturally high in Omega 3 - when levels are in fact low.
In contrast 14 per cent of parents believe that salmon is not a good source of Omega 3, even though oily fish is one of the best ways to get the polyunsaturated fatty acids. Omega 3s are a vital part of a balanced diet helping to maintain normal heart, brain and vision. A total of 20 per cent of those polled - in a survey of 2,000 UK parents - said they were unaware of the importance of Omega 3.
Despite leading authorities recommending regular consumption of foods containing Omega 3, research suggests that only 23 per cent of the UK’s adult population consumes the recommended intake, generally classified as at least one portion of oily fish per week. Intake levels are particularly low in children and young people.
Moira Howie, Waitrose Nutrition Manager, said: "A lot of the focus has been getting children to have five a day and ensuring they have enough calcium. But Omega 3 is also vital for maintaining a healthy heart, brain function and vision, with many parents unaware of its benefits and where to find it in the diet. Our parents and grandparents might have traumatic memories of being given cod liver oil on a spoon - but they would have been regularly consuming a good source of Omega 3 - something which many of today's younger generation appear to be missing out on."
Over 80 per cent of those surveyed admitted that they would like to increase omega 3 in both their diet and their family’s diet to help maintain a healthy heart, brain and vision.
Scientific research undertaken in 2013 showed that people with the highest levels of Omega 3 had a 40 per cent reduction in cardiovascular related deaths compared to people with the lowest levels.
Optimum health benefits are obtained from a daily intake of 250mg of Omega 3 fatty acids as part of a healthy balanced diet and lifestyle.