Overweight children eat more healthy food such as fruit, vegetables, fish and brown bread compared with normal weight children and were more likely to have obese parents, a study said.

Researchers at the Telemark University College and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health found that overweight children drank more juice and artificially soft drinks. Both parents and children are more aware of food choices when children are obese. The study researched the eating habits of 924 fourth graders in the county of Telemark.

"It is positive that parents and children emphasize healthy food choices. However, it is important to note that the amount of healthy foods must be adapted to a child's activity level to limit further weight gain," said researcher Anne Lise Brantsæter at the NIPH.

"Obesity is a growing problem that can have unfortunate consequences for the children both physically and mentally. There are many contributing factors to obesity and it is important that both parents and children are given good guidance and support early on," added Brantsæter.