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In one of the largest "fat" surveys to date, an ACNielsen survey of over 22,000 Americans offered new insights into our nation's fastest growing problem, according to this morning's Facts, Figures, & The Future, a report from the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), ACNielsen, and Phil Lempert.

The Homescan Panel survey, conducted in June/July of 2003, found that 90 percent of US Households are concerned about child obesity in children under the age of 17.

When asked "who do you believe is responsible for child obesity," 62 percent of the respondents felt that the "child him/herself" was responsible for the "fat" problem, which followed the number one reason (86 percent) that the "parent/guardian" was responsible. "Fast food restaurants", "advertising", "school vending machines" and especially "manufacturers of grocery food products" all ranked significantly lower as the responsible party.

When the respondents were asked "who do you believe is most responsible," 60 percent of the households said parent/guardian, 10 percent of the households said fast food restaurants, 9 percent of the households said the child him/herself, and only 1 percent said food manufacturers.

The Homescan Survey also asked what school systems should consider implementing, and the number one recommendation (by 41 percent of the respondents) was to "completely ban the sale and consumption of unhealthy foods/beverages at school", followed closely by the idea of 'banning the sale of unhealthy foods, but allowing students to bring (them) from home" at 38 percent.
KC's View:
The bottom line reached by the report is that blame is a moving target, and we concur. That's why it is absolutely essential for retailers and manufacturers to aggressively address this issue.