Parent Survey Reveals Children's Typical Lunch Food on Chatterbean.com

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An ongoing parent survey on Chatterbean.com--"Are You a Slacker Mom?"--reveals the types of food children are offered for lunch. In the U.S., about 17 percent of children and adolescents between the ages of two and 19 are overweight and at risk for health problems such as diabetes and heart disease. One reason for this trend may be children's lunches, according to the more than 53,000 responses to the "Are You a Slacker Mom?" quiz. Chatterbean.com is a response-driven Web site featuring quizzes on a variety of personal growth and lifestyle trends.

The fun and quirky Chatterbean.com parent survey "Are You a Slacker Mom?" asks about the types of food that parents offer their children for lunch. Many American children--about 17 percent of all kids between the ages of two and 19--are overweight and at risk of developing health problems such as diabetes and heart disease. The more than 53,000 responses to the "Are You a Slacker Mom?" survey (http://www.areyouaslackermom.com) reveal that children's lunches at home or in a school lunch program may be contributing to this trend. Chatterbean.com is an interactive quiz site on pop culture trends.

The "Are You a Slacker Mom?" quiz (http://www.areyouaslackermom.com) asks, "What kind of lunch do your kids have on a typical day?" and received the following responses:

  •     54 percent of the respondents answered, "Whatever's in the fridge…I am a genius at making a great meal for my kids with what I have on hand."
  •     27 percent responded: "The yummy fish sticks and fruit cup they serve in the school cafeteria."
  •     15 percent responded: "An organic, nutritious meal usually involving the four food groups."
  •     4 percent responded: "Whatever I can creatively construct at the convenience store on the way to my kid's school."

The 27 percent who rely on the school lunch program can at least could on nutritional requirements based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. According to the USDA, these guidelines recommend "that no more than 30 percent of an individual's calories come from fat, and less than 10 percent from saturated fat." However, schools choose which specific foods to serve and how to prepare them.

Convenience store foods and much of the processed foods purchased in grocery stores often contain high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), according to Grist Environmental News and Commentary. The Grist article "I'm Hatin' It: How the Feds Make Bad-for-You Food Cheaper than Healthful Fare" says: " HFCS now accounts for nearly half of the caloric sweeteners added to processed food, and is the sole caloric sweetener for mass-market soft drinks. Between 1975 and 1997, per-capita consumption jumped from virtually nothing to 60.4 pounds per year -- equal to about 200 calories per person, per day." In her MSN Health and Fitness column, Keecha Harris, P.H., R.D., writes, "Our best bet then to reduce the amount of HFCS in our diet is to eat less processed foods and encourage lawmakers to write policies that support good health."

Other questions on the quiz concern the participants' favorite way to reduce stress, their level of education and their favorite family activities (http://www.areyouaslackermom.com). Visitors to Chatterbean.com can still participate in this or numerous other quizzes. Chatterbean.com is a top response-driven site with quizzes covering a range of topics from fashion and relationships to parenting and education.

Chatterbean.com attracts thousands of users every day to response-driven Web sites that cover trends in personal growth, fashion, food, music, parenting, home ownership, education and more.

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Aurelie Guerrieri
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