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Is having kids bad for your health?

By Elaine WATSON , 14-Nov-2012
Last updated the 14-Nov-2012 at 18:11 GMT

Parents with kids under 18* are very focused on the diet and lifestyle of their offspring but have a tendency to neglect their own health, according to the International Food Information Council (IFIC).

Analysis of data from its 2012 Food & Health Survey (which was published in May - click here ), threw up some interesting findings, said IFIC:

WEIGHT: Parents with kids under 18 are more likely to be obese (36%) than non-parents (28%).

DIET: Only 16% of parents with kids under 18 think they have a very or extremely healthful diet, compared to 23% of non-parents. 

Parents with kids under 18 are more likely to be obese (36%) than non-parents (28%)

EXERCISE: Parents with kids under 18 are less likely than non-parents of the same age to describe their level of physical activity as “vigorous” (12% vs 17%).

Parents are also 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%). 

SHOPPING: Parents with kids under 18 are less likely (54%) than non-parents (63%) to say that healthfulness has a strong impact on their decisions about what to buy.

Parents are more likely than non-parents (40% vs. 32%) to buy food with the word “natural” on the label on a regular basis. 

Organic babyfood for little Johnnie, a pizza for me...

Only 16% of parents with kids under 18 think they have a very or extremely healthful diet, compared to 23% of non-parents

Commenting on the findings, Marianne Smith Edge, MS, RD, LD, FADA, Senior Vice President, Nutrition and Food Safety, IFIC Foundation, said: “Parents are being responsible and conscientious when it comes to the needs of their children, but less so in terms of their own health.

 “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.”

*Of the 1,057 participants in IFIC’s 2012 Food & Health Survey , 29% were adults ages 18-49 with children under 18. 

 

  

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