SCOTTISH children are eating their way to a health “time bomb” by snacking on sweet treats, according to new research.

Parents in Scotland say their children kids are eating, on average, three biscuits, two chocolate bars, two cans of fizzy drinks and three cups of fruit juice during a typical school weekday.

That means they are regularly breaching the daily recommended health limits with treats and snacks alone.

At birthday parties alone, children in Scotland consume the equivalent of two and a half bags of sugar every year, a survey for natural sweetener NatVia by Atomik Research has found.

The Government recommends that children aged 16 should eat an average of no more than 30g per day, with 24g for seven to 10-year-olds and 10g for four to six-year-olds.

But parents of under-16s in Scotland say their children are eating 45g of sugar on a typical school day just by eating extra treats.

“This worrying survey shows children in Scotland are treating their way to a health time bomb,” said Paul Evans, vice-chair of the British Obesity Society and operations director for School Health UK.

“Eating too much sugar is linked to obesity, heart problems, tooth decay and diabetes, and it will cost the NHS millions to treat these diseases in the future.”

Children in Scotland attend an average of 10 birthday parties a year where they consume an average of 267g of sugar at each one from cake and sweets, among other sugary treats.

At Easter children in Scotland chomp through an average of four eggs, with each containing an average of 61.6g of sugar. With children also tucking into bags of sweets and chocolate bars at Easter, parents believe their kids are eating as much as 392g of sugar from sweet treats.

In summer, children consuming an extra 336g of sugar a week on average as they eat three ice creams or lollies in addition to fizzy drinks and fruit juice.

Just under a quarter (24%) of parents in Scotland say their child eats five or more ice creams or lollies a week over the summer holidays.

At Halloween, kids’ sugar intake hits 259g as they indulge in an average of five small bags of sweets and five chocolate bars.

However, half of parents surveyed in Scotland say sweet treats are part of the fun of the occasion, and just over one quarter (26%) say they are not concerned at all about their kids’ sugar consumption.

“It is so important that children can enjoy themselves on special occasions,” said NatVia director Sam Tew.

“But how necessary is that bar of chocolate at the end of the school day and do they really need that lollipop as a reward or a can of fizzy drink if they are thirsty?

“By just pausing for a moment and asking ourselves these questions – and then replacing the sugary treat with a healthier snack, we could be creating a better future for the younger generation.”