Parents Caving on Healthy Choices for Kids

IOWA CITY, Iowa, Sept. 6 (UPI) — U.S. researchers say the good intentions of parents to give their children healthy food may wither in the grocery store.

Study leader Irwin Levin of the University of Iowa in Iowa City says parents capable of good nutrition decisions for themselves become about 50 percent weaker when selecting foods for their children.

“Perhaps they think the child won’t eat the healthy option, or they suspect that the child will beg for the unhealthy foods,” Levin said in a statement. “The question for parents to consider is this: You try to eat healthy. Do you want less for your child?”

Levin and son Aron Levin, an associate professor of marketing at Northern Kentucky University in Highland Heights, asked 43 parents of 7-year-olds to rate eight combinations of food products as well as the likelihood of purchasing for themselves or for their child. The children were also asked about their product preferences.

The researchers also find brand name and nutritional value counted for more than endorsement by a cartoon character.

“While Sponge Bob can be used to promote healthy eating habits in our children, trusted brands like Kellogg’s and conscientious parents can do even more.” Irwin Lewin said.

The findings are published in the Journal of Consumer Behaviour.

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