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KIDS MAKE THE NUTRITIONAL GRADE

 KIDS MAKE THE NUTRITIONAL GRADE
 WASHINGTON, Aug. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Children of the 1990s may


grow up to be the savviest consumers yet, judging from the results of a new survey that explored the nutrition knowledge of 6-to-9-year- olds.
 When asked to define nutrition, 73 percent of the children surveyed related it to foods that are "good for you" or as something that's healthful to eat. The overwhelming majority, 93 percent, realized that eating lots of fruits and vegetables is beneficial, and almost two-thirds agreed that eating habits can affect future health.
 "We were amazed that children this young demonstrated such a high level of awareness of nutrition principles," said Karen Forcade, president of YOUTH Research, the firm that conducted the survey.
 Children, as young as 6-years-old, have a good grasp of the basics of nutrition -- balance, variety and moderation. The majority knew that it's best to eat a variety of foods and that trying new food is good for them.
 Additionally, 64 percent realized that it's OK to eat foods like ice cream, cookies and chips, but not all the time. Only 10 percent believed that it's OK to eat anything you want, whenever you want.
 "Even at this young age, children are able to apply the basic nutrition principles to individual food selection with an excellent degree of accuracy," said Claire Regan, MS, RD, director of nutrition for the International Food Information Council (IFIC), the sponsor of the study.
 When shown pictures of a series of foods, the overwhelming majority of those surveyed were able to distinguish between foods like fruits and vegetables that should be eaten at least every day and foods that should be eaten less frequently. At least seven out of 10 children categorized foods like milk, cereal, bananas and carrots as foods that should be eaten every day or more than once a day.
 Young children also are savvy when it comes to evaluating the foods advertised on television. Forcade explained: "We found that just over three-quarters of the children (77 percent) understood that just because some things are advertised on television doesn't mean that they should eat unlimited quantities of those foods."
 The survey also found that only one out of four children (27 percent) always ask their parents to buy food they see advertised on television, while over two-thirds (67 percent) "sometimes" ask their parents to buy advertised foods.
 However, parents still exercise primary control of children's food selection. Only 4 percent reported that Mom or Dad always buy these foods, while 82 percent said their requests are honored "sometimes."
 "Despite children's requests, parents are the gatekeepers of the household food supply and have ultimate control over which foods are purchased," Regan said.
 "It's encouraging that children are so knowledgeable about nutrition, but parents still control the selection of foods that are available to children. It's important that parents recognize and use this opportunity to help children develop sound eating habits. By providing a wide range of foods, parents can encourage children to choose balanced diets and to develop sound habits that will last a lifetime," Regan advised.
 The survey was conducted in June 1992 by YOUTH Research. Four hundred children, 6 to 9 years old, were personally interviewed across the country. The results are projectable at a 95 percent level of confidence with a margin of error of five percentage points.
 IFIC is a non-profit organization that communicates sound science-based information on food and nutrition topics to health professionals, journalists, government officials and consumers. IFIC's programs are supported by the food and beverage industry.
 -0- 8/11/92
 /CONTACT: Claire Regan, MS, RD, or Sarah Delea of the International Food Information Council, 202-296-6540/ CO: International Food Information Council ST: District of Columbia IN: HEA SU:


TW -- DC004 -- 8868 08/11/92 10:09 EDT
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Aug 11, 1992
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