Overwhelming majority of parents say they are well informed when it comes to making decisions about their children’s diet
Mon 2 July 2012
Most Australian parents see themselves as primarily responsible for dietary choices in their home, believe they’re well enough informed to make sensible decisions and do not view advertising as a significant contributor to obesity levels. These are the key finding of an Ipsos survey.
The Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA), which is responsible for the advertising Codes that govern self-regulation of advertising in Australia, today released the findings of the Ipsos survey into parental attitudes to the causes and possible remedies to addressing obesity.
‘The Survey confirms that parents are not ignorant or ill-informed when it comes to making healthy food choices, despite what some health sector lobbyists would have us believe – in fact 94% of parents feel they are well informed when it comes to making decisions about their children’s diet,’ said Scott McClellan, Chief Executive Officer of the AANA.
‘The top influences on what types of food should go into our shopping trolleys are nutritional value, price and taste. When outside of home, nutritional value plays only a slightly lesser role while convenience also plays into their choice.
‘Advertising was named by only three per cent as one of the top influences on the type of food they purchased. Clearly, for the vast majority of people, advertising only helps determine choice of brand but it doesn’t determine choice of food type to any meaningful extent.’
While the Survey found that only two thirds of parents stated they were not influenced by advertising at all when it came to type of food purchase they did believe advertising is more influential on their children.
‘We know parents are clearly concerned about the effect advertising may have on their children and that is why advertisers need to be conscious of their commitments to only advertise healthier food choices to children and work within the current AANA Code of Advertising & Marketing Communications to Children and AANA Food and Beverage Advertising Code.’
The Survey also found that the majority of kids 13 years of age and younger are supervised at least most of the time when watching TV, which indicates that parents are well aware of what their children are watching on TV.
The very strong view of the parents surveyed was that they accept and want responsibility for making health, nutrition and exercise decisions for their children and only one in four believed Government should play a greater role.
For further information or to request an interview with an AANA spokesperson, please contact Res Publica:
Angela Koutoulas | firstname.lastname@example.org | 02 8297 1514
The survey was conducted by Ipsos ASI on behalf of the AANA in April 2012. Ipsos is the third largest market research organisation in the world.
Ipsos is QA accredited to ISO standards ISO-9001 and ISO-20252, and in addition, their own on-line panel company –View is also accredited to ISO-25262.
More than 500 parents participated in the survey.
The study was undertaken into understanding parental attitudes to food and (non-alcoholic) beverages.
92% of parents say that they have the ultimate responsibility for what their children eat and drink – 68% strongly agree.
Around 70% of parents do not believe advertising has any influence over their food and beverage purchase decisions.
Only one in four parents believe the responsibility for their children’s health education should be shared with the government.
Less than 10% of parents felt they were not confident of making informed decisions about food and beverage choices for their children.
32% of parents claim nutritional value is a top influence in food purchasing, with 26% claiming price and 16% claiming taste. Marketing and advertising were cited by only 3% of parents as top influencers.
In comparison, 29% of parents claim price, 17% claim nutrition and taste and 12% claim convenience as the top influence for outside of the home purchases.
Almost three quarters of parents surveyed believe that 60% or more of Australians are overweight. This correlates closely with the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) National Health Survey 2007-08 data, which showed that the proportion of Australian adults who were overweight or obese was 61%.
78% parents acknowledge importance of a ‘balanced diet’ and 70% the importance of ‘exercise’ for their children’s health.
Most often named contributor to overweight problems in children 14 years and younger was parents followed by food.
Just under half of parents indicate that schools should be ‘very responsible’ in helping to educate children and encourage healthy eating habits.
67% of parents were most likely to either walk or ride their bikes to school when they were a child. In contrast 69% of children today get a lift to school with parents, friends or neighbours.
Almost two-thirds of parents were participating in active sport or exercise at least 3-4 times a week or more when they were younger. In contrast just over half of children are participating in active sport or exercise at least 3-4 times per week.
Fewer kids now play at home, in playgrounds or in neighbourhood, or play sport compared to when their parents were children.