Parents with children younger than 18 are focused on the nutrition and health needs of their kids, but they are less likely to think about the foods they choose for themselves or believe in the health benefits of regular exercise, according to results from the International Food Information Council Foundation’s 2012 Food & Health Survey.
Only 16% of parents in the survey said they think they have a very or extremely healthful diet, compared with 23% of nonparents. Parents (36%) are more likely to be obese than nonparents (28%). More parents (60%) are trying to lose weight than nonparents (55%), according to the survey.
Parents are less likely than nonparents 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%).
Not surprisingly, parents are less likely than nonparents to describe their level of physical activity as vigorous (12% vs. 17%).
Of the 1,057 participants in the survey, 29% were adults ages 18-49 with children younger than 18.
The survey results were consistent with 2010 research conducted by the Dietary Guidelines Alliance, of which IFIC is a founding member. That research found a lack of understanding among parents about the role calorie balance plays in maintaining a healthy weight.