HEALTH

Clif Kid survey: Parents unfamiliar with good nutrition for children

BY Michael Johnsen

EMERYVILLE, Calif. — Clif Kid on Tuesday released the results of a national survey that found that consumers are confused about nutrition labels; specifically, appropriate quantities of nutrients and nutrition terminology causes frustration among parents when it comes to feeding their kids.

“We found that parents have good intentions but may not be giving their kids the right nutrition because they are uncertain about portion sizes and how to read nutrition labels,” stated Tara DelloIacono-Thies, registered dietitian for Clif Kid. “That’s why Clif Kid makes sure each snack has the right amount of nutrients for kids up to age 12. This means, even though nutrition labels must state the percentage of nutrients for an adult-sized diet, parents can feel secure knowing that the amounts in a Clif Kid snack are appropriate for kids’ healthy growth.”

As many as 42% of parents said reading nutrition labels is more difficult than reading assembly instructions for furniture. Many parents may not be reading the labels at all, as 42% don’t know that nutrition labels are based on a 2,000-calorie adult diet, which can represent 53% more calories than are recommended for a 6-year-old girl, Clif Kid noted.

When it comes to food quantities, the majority of parents (72%) were not aware that the American Dietetic Association’s recommended daily caloric intake changes by gender at 4 years old. In fact, most parents were unsure how much of any particular nutrient their kid should consume. At best, 38% thought they could guess the appropriate daily intake for a child’s sugar consumption.

The survey also found that words used to describe fundamentals in nutrition often leave parents with a lack of confidence. Almost half (45%) of parents didn’t know how much food is in a “single serving.” The term “grams” is another source of confusion. For example, three-quarters of parents surveyed did not know how many calories are in one gram of fat — 20% thought it was equal to 100 calories or more, when one gram of fat actually has nine calories. Just more than half (54%) of parents would prefer nutrition labels be expressed in teaspoons or tablespoons, forms of measurement more familiar to them.

While 49% of parents said they ate healthier since having kids, only 15% would describe their kids as “healthy eaters.” Parents found it particularly challenging to feed their kids healthy snacks. In fact, 75% said it’s actually harder to feed their kids healthy snacks than healthy meals.

Overall, 69% parents said it’s important to feed their kids organic or natural food, and more than a third (37%) were making more effort now to do so than three years ago.

The survey, which was conducted by Kelton Research and commissioned by Clif Kid in 2011, targeted 1,009 U.S. parents with children ages 6 to 12 years.


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GeoPalz updates pedometer, activity-tracking software

BY Michael Johnsen

BOULDER, Colo. — GeoPalz on Tuesday instituted technical upgrades to its GeoPalz product and online activity-tracking program.

“Our main goal is to motivate kids and families to be active together, so we are proud to bolster the technical abilities of this product to more precisely and confidently track their steps," GeoPalz CEO Rich Schmelzer said.

GeoPalz evolved from 2D pendulum pedometers to version 2 3D Tri-Axis accelerometers, enhancing the technology for children and adults for easy motivation and activity monitoring. The GeoPalz V2 Tri-Axis accelerometers now feature shoe and hip location options to track 21 days of steps. They gauge MVPA (moderate to vigorous physical activity) points, and feature a built-in anti-cheat function with a unique daily alpha numeric code, internal clock and advanced calibration for accuracy. What’s more, GeoPalz new improved V2 models are water-resistant.

Available in 26 designs specifically designed for children ages 5 years and older, GeoPalz motivates families to be active by converting their steps into points for redemption of free activity-based products, sports equipment and outdoor toys at the GeoPalz website. GeoPalz V2 tracks 21 days of steps and vigorous activity points. To get the whole family moving, families can register together on the site using GeoPalz and pedometers from third-party companies.

The new products are shipping nationwide at a suggested retail price of $25.


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‘Modern Family’s’ Eric Stonestreet, Pepto-Bismol promote turkey drive on Facebook

BY Michael Johnsen

CINCINNATI — Procter & Gamble, through its Pepto-Bismol brand, is teaming up with Feeding America and "Modern Family" star Eric Stonestreet to launch its “Feast for All” campaign, the company announced Tuesday.

Through Dec. 1, consumers who visit Pepto’s Facebook will see Stonestreet displaying a photo of his prized Thanksgiving turkey. With every consumer who “likes” the photo of the turkey, P&G will help donate eight meals to Feeding America.

“Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of the year — and one of the only days that it’s acceptable to change into sweatpants right after dinner,” Stonestreet said. “Since everyone should get to enjoy a good meal during the Thanksgiving season, I’ve teamed up with Pepto-Bismol and Feeding America to help many more people celebrate this year.”

“Every Thanksgiving, people know they can turn to Pepto-Bismol if they overdo it during their festivities. However, many Americans do not get the chance to partake in the festivities or even enjoy a decent meal,” Pepto-Bismol brand manager Stephanie Waugh said. “That’s why we decided to launch this ‘Feast for All’ campaign during this Thanksgiving season.”

Feeding America supplies food to more than 37 million Americans each year.

“We are grateful to Pepto-Bismol for its support in our effort to combat domestic hunger and its unique effort to get social networks involved,” Feed America president and CEO Vicki Escarra said. “Hunger is a constant issue nationwide, and the only way to overcome it is to band together as a community.”


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