Moreover, researchers at Telemark University College and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health found the normal weight children drank carbonated drinks and ate unhealthy foods and processed foods such as burgers, sausages, biscuits, pizza and sweets more often than the obese children.
The researchers also found overweight children were less physically active and were more likely to have obese parents than normal weight children.
"It is positive that parents and children emphasize healthy food choices," researcher Anne Lise Brantsaeter said in a statement. "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."
Brantsaeter suggested there are many contributing factors to obesity, and it is important to give both parents and children good guidance and support.
The researchers studied the eating habits and activity levels of 924 fourth-grade children in Norway. They obtained height/weight measurement for them, and noted parents' educational level, income and employment and if the parents themselves were overweight.
The findings were published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.