Grassroots Mobilization of Registered Dietitians and New Website Launched for Kids Eat Right, Following Survey Results
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CHICAGO – The American Dietetic Association Foundation has released preliminary results of a nationwide survey on eating behaviors and nutritional knowledge and attitudes of children and parents, revealing not only realities and advancements, but also opportunities for positive impact. To take advantage of these identified opportunities, the ADA Foundation in collaboration with the American Dietetic Association's Childhood Obesity Prevention action plan, has launched the Kids Eat Right campaign.
Developed in response to the need for a coordinated effort to end the obesity epidemic in the U.S., the campaign is informed in part by the results of the ADA Foundation's 2010 Family Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey, which surveyed 1,193 pairs of children and parents* nationwide.
Registered dietitian Dr. Katie Brown, national education director for the ADA Foundation, said: "Through the survey we not only identified potential strategies for positive change and improving the quality of children's diets, but also reinforced those strategies and efforts that registered dietitians have already been using for decades."
Kids Eat Right is designed to promote healthy eating and prevent childhood obesity by enlisting registered dietitians in public education projects and other programs, as well as direct outreach to the public through the launch of the interactive website www.KidsEatRight.org. Practical tips, articles, videos and recipes from registered dietitians will be posted each week to help families shop smart, cook healthy and eat right.
"Kids Eat Right mobilizes and streamlines existing work by RDs — professionals with the expertise essential to success — allowing for a coordinated grassroots effort to promote healthy eating and prevent childhood obesity nationwide."
"Under the umbrella of Kids Eat Right, new resources and tools are available to help families take practical steps to a healthier lifestyle," Brown said. "Whether speaking with an RD about foods, grocery shopping or healthier cooking, or visiting www.KidsEatRight.org for tips and recipes, the campaign is designed to not only provide information, but to empower families to actually transform their daily behaviors."
The ADA Foundation survey results indicate parents have a strong impact in the lives of their children, including their eating behaviors. Parents were rated as the top two role models of children, with 18 percent of Caucasian, 30 percent of African-American and 23 percent of Hispanic survey respondents indicating their mother was the person whom they most admire or want to be like, and 17 percent of Caucasian, 16 percent of African-American and 18 percent of Hispanic children indicating their father. In addition, 70 percent of Caucasian, 80 percent of African-American and 82 percent of Hispanic children said if their parents would eat healthier foods, it would help them eat healthier as well.
According to the survey results, more than three-fourths of parents believe that doctors and registered dietitians are very credible sources of information regarding nutrition and physical activity, and they want to speak with an RD about family nutrition issues including what foods children need to eat to be healthy; healthy meal ideas and preparation guidance; selecting healthy foods when grocery shopping and reading labels.
*In 2010, a total of 1,193 parent and child pairs were surveyed within three population samples: 754 pairs of children and parents who are representative of the U.S. population, 209 African-American pairs and 230 Hispanic pairs. For race comparisons, a random sampling of 420 Caucasian child-parent pairs was taken from the general population sample.
The American Dietetic Association Foundation's Family Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey was fielded in February of 2010 by the independent custom survey research company Knowledge Networks. Survey results were released by the ADA Foundation in November of 2010, more information can be found at www.eatright.org. Outreach and promotion of the survey results is supported by an educational grant from the General Mills Foundation.
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The American Dietetic Association Foundation is a 501(c)3 charity devoted exclusively to nutrition and dietetics. It funds scholarships and awards, public awareness and research projects and ADA strategic initiatives, and is the largest provider of scholarships and awards in the field of dietetics. The Foundation’s mission is funding the future of the dietetics profession through research and education. Visit the ADA Foundation at www.eatright.org/foundation.
The American Dietetic Association is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. ADA is committed to improving the nation’s health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. Visit the American Dietetic Association at www.eatright.org.