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Trends in Food Attitudes and Behaviors Among Adults with 6–11-Year-Old Children

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Abstract

This study presents an analysis of survey data measuring food attitudes and behaviors among a nationally representative sample of adults with 6–11-year-old children for 2002–2010 from Experian Simmons Market Research. Results show numerous significantly positive improvements in attitudes and behaviors regarding healthier diets. In general, parents report increasing fiber intake, thinking about calories, and reducing sweets consumption as well as a generic effort to eat healthier. However, some areas still needing improvement include relatively neutral views that their diet is “very healthy” and that they only snack on healthy foods. While there are a number of improvements in parents' attitudes and behaviors regarding a healthy diet, the majority of the ground gained was early, from 2002 to between 2003 and 2006. This study's results suggest that a better understanding of the parental “snacking mindset” and indulgence-healthy diet paradox might further assist in addressing childhood obesity.

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