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For Kids, Healthy Eating Starts at Home, According to GfK MRI

New Data Show How Parents Influence Their Children's Nutrition Attitudes

NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 02/10/11 -- The apple doesn't fall far from the tree when it comes to healthy habits, according to GfK MRI's American Kids Study and its supplemental Parents Study. According to newly released data, parents who purchase low-calorie or organic foods and parents who don't keep junk food at home have children who are more likely than the average child to express healthy eating-related attitudes.

Parents who teach their children to read nutrition labels appear to have the most health-conscious kids. The children of these parents are 88% more likely than the average child to read nutrition labels, 47% more likely to avoid fattening foods, 37% more likely to stay away from sugary foods, and 31% more likely to play sports to stay in shape.

On the other hand, parents with no nutrition rules have children who are far less concerned with healthy lifestyles. Kids with no rules regarding food and nutrition are less likely to pay attention to sugar or far content, to read nutrition labels, or play sports for exercise. Moreover, they are 68% more likely to eat whatever they want.

"These data clearly show the impact parental rules and behavior can have on children," said Anne Marie Kelly, SVP, Marketing & Strategic Planning at GfK MRI. "This is just one of the many new insights available in The American Kids Study. For the first time, subscribers can now access the American Kids Study and Parents Study within the same database -- a new benefit that allows marketers to take a much closer look at how parents and their children sync up."

The 2010 American Kids Study surveys 5,000 children, aged 6 -11, from households included in The Survey of the American Consumer. It uses an innovative child-friendly questionnaire that captures demographic, media, psychographic and lifestyle information, as well as product usage data at the brand-level for 27 categories. In addition to surveying children in the household, GfK MRI asks primary caregivers to fill out a separate questionnaire detailing the child's purchasing influence and activities.

About GfK MRI
GfK MRI has a singular goal: to provide the clearest and most detailed view of American consumers -- who they are, what they buy, how they think, and the best ways to reach them. Founded in 1979, GfK MRI is the country's leading provider of magazine audience ratings, multimedia research data and penetrating insights into consumers' behavior and motivations.

When conducting its national Survey of the American Consumer™, GfK MRI interviews approximately 26,000 U.S. adults in their homes each year, asking about their use of media, their consumption of more than 6,000 products in 550 categories, their lifestyles and their attitudes. Because these interviews are structured as an area probability study, the results are projectable to the entire U.S. adult population. The Survey also serves as a foundation for an array of innovative GfK MRI research products that answer the market's need for granular, cross-media and consumer-focused information.

GfK MRI is part of The GfK Group, based in Nuremberg, Germany. The Group delivers a range of information and consultancy services in three business sectors: Custom Research, Retail and Technology and Media. It is the No. 4 market research organization worldwide, operates in more than 100 countries and employs over 10,000 staff, more than 80% of whom are based outside of Germany.

For further information on GfK MRI, visit our website: And, join us on Facebook ( and Twitter (

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Anne Marie Kelly
SVP, Marketing and Strategic Planning
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Steve Ellwanger
Press Counsel Group
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