Substituting fruit for unhealthy snacks where kids are concerned may seem a no-brainer, but a survey of Canadian parents proves it’s easier said than done.
The survey, conducted last year by Horizon Research, found that parents are not leading by example when it comes to promoting physical activity and good snacking habits in their kids.
Over half (55 per cent) of parents surveyed said they wanted their children to adopt the same eating habits as they have, but admitted to snacking on less fruit and more salty snacks than their kids.
The survey was commissioned by Sunkist Growers and Active Healthy Kids Canada charitable organization.
The survey found only 40 per cent of the 477 parents questioned thought they were good role models for physical activity. It found parents are not only doing less physical activity than their children, but also that most of their physical activity was gained doing household chores.
"These results are a wake-up call for all of us," says Helene Charlebois, a registered dietitian. "We know there is strong evidence pointing to a direct correlation between healthy eating and physical activity habits of parents and the ones children adopt into their adulthood."
If parents act as positive role models, their children’s outcomes are much improved, the survey found. When a parent models nutritious eating, children’s activity levels (based on walking, hiking or jogging) increase 97 per cent and activity role modelling results in a 109 per cent boost.
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