Nearly all parents agree with the importance of healthy diets during childhood, yet there are still many who say it is only somewhat or not at all important to have their child limit sugary drinks and eat fruits and vegetables every day, according to a new national poll.
For lower cancer risk as adults, eating a healthy diet when young is a habit that can have benefits for long-term weight management.
The C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health found that only about a third of parents are confident they are doing a good job shaping their child’s eating habits. One in six parents rate their children’s diet as very nutritious. About a fourth of parents say their child’s eating is somewhat or not healthy at all.
The top challenges cited were price, picky eaters and convenience.
Many parents said several healthy eating strategies are only somewhat/not important. Sixteen percent said it is somewhat/not important to limit sugary drinks; 13 percent said it is somewhat/not important to have their child eat fruits and vegetables every day. And about 1 in 5 said it is somewhat/not important to limit junk and fast food.
The poll was conducted among a nationally representative sample of parents who had at least one child ages 4 to 18.