Parents are Skeptical About The Role of Calories in the Diet

Dec 9, 2010 – Research conducted by the Dietary Guidelines Alliance, of which the International Food Information Council is a founding member along with the federal government and other food and health organizations, has found that when it comes to calories, parents lack a basic understanding of their impact on weight and may even be skeptical that calories are just the latest food and nutrition fad.

The research showed that only 14% of parents say they are consistently paying attention to the calories their families consume; even fewer (9%) say it would be the easiest thing for their family to do on a regular basis. Throughout the course of the research, parents were asked to rate five key behaviors in terms of how important they are to the healthfulness of their family’s diet, parents ranked the following as most important:

  • Serving their families foods and beverages that are nutrient rich (such as whole grains, lean meats, low-fat dairy and fruits and vegetables) more often (82%)
  • Making an effort to balance amount of foods and beverages consumed with amount of physical activity (74%)
  • Paying attention to the amount of foods and beverages served and eaten (69%)
  • Managing higher-calorie food and beverage choices in a way that does not impact weight (67%)
  • Paying attention to calories consumed from foods and beverages (52%)

The Dietary Guidelines Alliance’s three-phase research project included ethnographic research, focus groups and a quantitative message-testing web survey focused on topics similar to the areas of focus in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Report. In addition to a representative sample of the population based on the U.S. Census, the research also includes additional data focused on minority populations.

Eating a colorful variety of fresh, frozen, canned, and dried fruits and vegetables as well as 100% juice is an easy and positive step in helping to lead a healthy life. For another positive step, take America’s More Matters Pledge: Fruits & Veggies…Today and Every Day! and make a commitment to a live a healthier life.

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