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IFIC: Parents Focus on Kids' Health, Neglect Their Own

WASHINGTON — Though mindful of the health and nutrition needs of their children, parents of kids under 18 are less conscientious when it comes to their own wellness, according to the International Food Information Council Foundation’s 2012 Food & Health Survey.

Since 87% of parents believe that it is good for health to sit down and eat meals with their family, food retailers should make recipe suggestions that incorporate nutrient-rich foods with fewer calories, such as fruits and vegetables, whole and enriched grains, lean meats, beans and nuts, and low-fat or fat-free dairy foods.

“In some ways, parents have significantly different beliefs and priorities than non-parents and these differences are important in terms of designing effective messaging to better equip them to achieve a more healthful lifestyle,” said Marianne Smith Edge, senior vice president of nutrition and food safety for the IFIC Foundation, in a statement.

The survey also found:

  • Only 16% of parents think they have a very or extremely healthful diet compared to 23% of non-parents.
  • Parents (36%) are more likely to be obese than non-parents (28%).
  • Parents are less likely than non-parents to report giving a lot of thought to the amount of physical activity they are getting (58% vs. 66%) and to believe that the amount of physical activity has a positive health benefit (58% vs. 68%).
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