HEALTH

Safeway flu survey: Only half of Americans will get flu shot this year

BY Michael Johnsen

PLEASANTON, Calif. — Nearly two-thirds of Americans believe flu shots prevent the flu, but only half plan to get the shot this year, according to the "Safeway Seasonal Wellness Survey," conducted by Kelton Research.

This is especially surprising, given that 89% said getting a flu shot is “as important” (50%) or “more important” (39%) than it was five years ago.

When it comes to a healthy diet, 65% said they believe eating fruits and vegetables can help prevent the flu, but only 7% said they plan to eat more produce during the cold-and-flu season. Women scored higher than men on all flu prevention activities in the survey, with at least a 10% lead on the following: washing hands frequently/thoroughly, drinking plenty of water, taking vitamins/supplements and sleeping at least eight hours each night.

Safeway has been promoting its flu shot availability at Safeway pharmacies with a 10% off coupon for groceries.


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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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