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The New York Times reports on new research from The NPD Group suggesting that the eating habits of US children may be improving, with less consumption of burgers, fries, chicken nuggets and soft drinks and greater consumption of soup, yogurt, fruit, grilled chicken and milk. Even pizza seems to be affected, with growth in consumption flattening as pasta consumption grows.

According to the story, the research is seen as the next chapter in a story that seems to be getting better – it was just a year ago that studies suggested that childhood obesity levels were leveling off in the US.

In part, the economy is seen as having as role in the shift, with kids having less money to spend on junk food. There also have been ad campaigns like Subway’s “$5 foot long” promotion that give kids a way to spend less money on more nutritious foods.

The conclusion reached by most analysts, according to the Times, is that kids simply are willing to eat more nutritious foods when they are made available to them. Moves by chains such as McDonald’s and Wendy’s to offer healthier foods have been rewarded as patrons have embraced the healthier options.
KC's View:
Go figure. If you cook it, they will come.

This is encouraging in all sorts of ways. Now, if we could just get more physical education classes into the schools, and work a little harder to get kids to spend a little less time in front of their computers and video games, we might actually be turning the corner.

This is a great opening for supermarket retailers, who sell all of these healthy foods and need to find ways to connect more directly with the young people who have the potential to eventually become their customers.