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New Zealanders blame parents for childhood obesity

New Zealanders blame parents for childhood obesity problems

Three quarters of New Zealanders blame parents for the rise in childhood obesity, a recent nationwide study conducted by Research International found. Some parents however, see the problem differently; blaming the recession and daily stresses for their inability to ensure their children get an adequate balance of nutrition and physical activity.

“While New Zealanders say that children’s weight is ultimately the responsibility of the parents, parents often blame pressures on time and the fact finances are stretched to the limit in the modern household. Our research has found evidence of parents simply not having time or money to take their kids to sports or other physical leisure activities and parents are often finding it faster and cheaper to feed their children fast food rather then healthy options. The current recession is reinforcing this behaviour, as even more people (74%) admit to actively buying products because they are on special” says Colin Yee Managing Director of Research International

On top of time and money pressures, parents believe the healthy options available for them out of the home are somewhat limited. The research found that 56% of New Zealanders believe that other than water, there are not many drinks that they would buy that are suitable for children, while 72% feel the food they eat is too high in chemicals and unnatural ingredients. This fact is something politicians should potentially consider in the current debate on folic acid’s inclusion in bread.

Project details
The purpose of the research was to investigate New Zealanders attitudes to a range of key issues facing us as individuals and as a country. This research project took place across New Zealand in June/July 2009. The quantitative stage surveyed 458 respondents aged 16 years and older and has a maximum margin of error of +/- 4.6 percentage points. The method was a mix of internet and face to face interviews. The qualitative stage completed 6 focus groups of 2.5 hours with 6 people in each.


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