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The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and Rodale-published Prevention are out with their annual "Shopping For Health" study, concluding that "shoppers still need help making  healthy eating easier, with many citing cost and lack of motivation as common obstacles.

"Certain barriers to healthy eating have diminished in the past few years, with shoppers less likely  to feel confused about which foods are healthy and which foods are not (down 16 points since 2007), but many shoppers agree they do not eat as healthy as they would like because it 'costs too much to eat healthy foods' (62%). Sixty percent of shoppers also say it’s too hard to change their eating habits and are still searching for motivation to do so."

Excerpts from the report:

• "Adults can somewhat correctly gauge their own weight, but parents do not have accurate perceptions of their children’s weight. Of those surveyed, only 10 percent with children ages 6 to 18 believed any of their children to be overweight. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 33% of those ages 6 to 19 are actually overweight or obese.

This misperception is exacerbated through shopping purchases. While the vast majority of parents at least sometimes buy food for their children that is nutritious (88%), just as many buy food their children like (91%). And while nearly all parents at least sometimes buy nutritious food for their kids, only a little more than one-third of parents say they 'always' do (38%).
Shoppers’ top healthy eating strategy involves avoiding food viewed as unhealthy, rather than actively seeking out healthy food items. Consumers report achieving healthy eating by switching to healthier snacks (56%), avoiding junk food (62%), making conscious efforts not to consume too many calories at once (52%), and preparing healthy recipes at home (59%)."

• "Shoppers’ top healthy eating strategy involves avoiding food viewed as unhealthy, rather than actively seeking out healthy food items. Consumers report achieving healthy eating by switching to healthier snacks (56%), avoiding junk food (62%), making conscious efforts not to consume too many calories at once (52%), and preparing healthy recipes at home (59%)."

• "Comparing 2012 and 2011 data, consumers continued the trend of switching to healthier versions of the food they used to eat. Yogurt saw the largest rise, with 34 percent of shoppers opting for a healthier version in the past year (up 9 points from 2011). This is evident in the proliferation of Greek yogurts and probiotic varieties on the market today."

• "In comparison with last year, nearly 50 percent of shoppers are buying more whole grain foods."
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