Children spend more on soft drinks than toys, report finds

Children are spending more each week on soft drinks than they are on games, toys and hobbies typically, Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures show.

Between 2015 and 2017, youngsters aged from seven to 15 years old spent 91p per week on average on soft drinks, compared with 77p on games, toys and hobbies, 57p on computer consoles and software and 54p on confectionery.

More than half (56%) of seven to 15-year-olds bought at least one soft drink in a typical fortnightly period - and mainly drank them away from home.

The older children were, the more likely they were to buy soft drinks.

Three-quarters (75%) of 13 to 15-year-olds bought at least one soft drink, compared with 58% of 10 to 12-year-olds and 38% of seven to nine-year-olds.

The findings also show that almost half (48%) of all children spent money on confectionery, such as chocolate, in a two-week period.

Games, toys and hobbies was the top spending category for seven-to-nine-year-olds, who spent £1.30 a week on average, on items such as jigsaw puzzles, teddy bears and card games.

A quarter of children aged between seven and nine years bought at least one item that fell into this category, compared with one in seven (14%) of 10 to 12-year-olds and one in 20 (5%) 13 to 15-year-olds.

On average, children aged between seven and 15 spent £12.40 a week, the report said.

Fifteen-year-olds spent £25 a week, compared with £7.40 on average spent by seven-year-olds.

Girls and boys aged seven to 12 were found to spend broadly similar amounts, but the gap widened as children entered their teenage years, when girls spent an average of £2.80 a week more than boys.

The ONS has an interactive quiz on children's money habits here.

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