Parents Polled About Causes of Child Obesity

February 25, 2013 at 12:28 pm

NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Harvard School of Public Health recently conducted a poll to focus on what type of health decisions are made in American households on the average weekday evening.  The poll was attempting to answer why one in every three American kids are overweight or obese.

The answer, they found, was not that parents did not know that children needed healthy foods and exercise.  In fact, 95% of parents said it was important or very important to eat and exercise in a way that helps their child maintain a healthy weight. Most of the reason chopped down to how parents handled the day-to-day grind of preparing foods.  Up to 73% of parents reported that the children just liked the taste of foods that lead to unhealthy weight gain, and thus they ate the food.  The other reasons amounted to the inability to find the money or time to purchase and prepare healthy foods.

And the community environment and development had a large part to play in this situation.  The poll shows that around 25% of people reported that there were unhealthy food options that are close by, while healthy options were either not available or priced out of the family’s budget.  Additionally, when it came to walking and exercising in the community, over 20% were concerned about the safety of their children in exercising outside.

This all confirms the premise of the CDFI Fund’s Healthy Food Financing Initiative, that we need to reinvest in our communities to promote the accessibility and innovation in new ways to prepare and distribute healthy food options.  The families in our communities know and want their children to grow up healthy; eating the right foods and getting enough exercise.  However, we have systematic issues that are arising that are making it harder than necessary for these working families to make these decisions.  Through promoting new innovation in this field, and encouraging small businesses to help families meet their needs, we can encourage a healthier community to grow.

Entry filed under: CDFI, Economic Development, Healthy Foods.

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