Parents of the future will be more disciplined when it comes to junk food and television, Bupa's How Are You Britain? report found.

The study - which looked at perceived parental behaviour over the next 10 years - also found that future parents would want their children to spend more time doing sports, walking and cycling to school and less time playing video games.

The results were based on a survey of 1,081 people aged 16-30 who hoped to have a family, and comparing their answers to 1,012 parents with children under 16.

The study found that just four per cent of future parents said they would allow their children to eat junk food, compared to 29 per cent of current parents. They also planned to restrict time spent in front of the TV or playing video games to 141 minutes a day - 24 minutes less than current parents (165 minutes).

Bianca Parau, a senior paediatric dietitian at Bupa Cromwell Hospital said: "Childhood obesity rates are continuing to soar putting the current generation at risk from developing critical illnesses such as type two diabetes, asthma and heart disease," she said.

"There are also significant health risks like high blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

"Although the realities of bringing up children in our busy modern world will challenge the very best laid plans, if the future plays out as this report suggests and tomorrow's parents do put their good intentions into practice, we could see a reduction in the number of childhood obesity cases and a much healthier future generation."

Posted by Robert Mair on 20.4.11 Comment on this article by sending it to: penny.hosie@pavpub.com