More produce matters to shrink obesity - The Packer

More produce matters to shrink obesity

03/21/2013 06:08:00 PM
Greg Johnson

He ought to turn it from a negative to a positive and make healthy options, like fresh fruits and vegetables (and, in a nod to my fellow Vance editors, let’s throw in lean meats and dairy) cheaper through food stamps and less healthy food more expensive or ineligible.

I wouldn’t suggest a Mayor Bloomberg-style restriction, as consumers could still purchase less healthy food, just not with taxpayer-funded means.

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Pivonka said PBH’s target audience is moms with kids in the home under 10 years old. Its annual study shows generally positive trends with fruit and vegetables and the More Matters brand with this demographic.

But it was a little awkward when March 14 workshop speaker Laurie Demeritt, president of The Hartman Group, Bellevue, Wash., started her presentation on health trends by saying “70% of American households have no kids in them.

“Stop thinking just about mom,” she said.

If the produce industry is forced to choose between the two approaches, targeting mom or not, I strongly recommend going after mom.

Mom buys food for kids, and kids’ eating habits are started young, which is the time to get them in the habit of making fruits and vegetables half of every meal.

Meanwhile, Howard Goldberg from NPD Group said snacking is rising, and those who snack tend to eat healthier.

Most kids I’m around, including my own, are constant snackers.

What’s the No. 1 snack right now? Fresh fruit.

Mom should be encouraged to buy lots of fruit to keep around for snacking, even if she’s just 30% of American households.

She’s more influential than that on many levels.

gjohnson@thepacker.com


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