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Press release from Business Wire

When It Comes to Encouraging Children to Eat Better, Parents Have Their Plates Full, Country Crock Survey Finds

<p class=' bwtextaligncenter'> <i><b>New Survey Reveals 90% Fret Over Kids' Diets, But Simple Steps Can Feed Good Habits From the Start</b></i> </p>

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

When It Comes to Encouraging Children to Eat Better, Parents Have Their Plates Full, Country Crock Survey Finds07:00 EDT Wednesday, June 02, 2010 ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. (Business Wire) -- Families face many challenges today in staying healthy. But you'd be hard-pressed to find one that eats at moms more than this: getting family members, especially children, to consume better, more healthful foods. In fact, according to a survey conducted by Country Crock®, 90% of parents are concerned about their children understanding the importance of healthy diet and exercise. “With government initiatives and a new national focus aimed at improving family health, the challenge is even greater to find ways to instill healthy habits in family members starting at a young age,” said Ruth Carey, RD, CCSD and family nutritionist. “The key is making small, simple changes that add up to a hugely positive impact on health and diet.” The survey revealed a number of challenges parents face in getting their kids to eat better foods. 69% of parents who want their families to eat a lot more healthy say they read nutrition labels all or some of the time, and more than 3 out of 4 parents (86%) are concerned about the amount of trans fat in their family's food More than half of the concerned parents (51%) say that the rising cost of healthy food choices is a deterrent for purchasing better options for their family Picky eaters are a major hurdle among parents who are concerned about their children understanding the importance of healthy diet and exercise; nearly half (49%) find it challenging to get their kids to try new foods due to limited preferences Outside pressures on children that encourage unhealthy eating (32%), and the negative influence of advertising and marketing of unhealthy foods (34%) add additional challenges for concerned parents to win the battle to serve better food options The great concern among parents over their kids' trans fat consumption and eating healthy isn't surprising. In fact, checking food labels for trans fat continues to be common among Americans as reported by the International Food Information Council Foundation's 2009 Food & Health Survey, with 57% saying they use the information on the Nutrition Facts panel in 2009 compared to 49% in 2006. It's also a concern shared by many food manufacturers today, and joining in this movement is Country Crock, which has completed the removal of partially hydrogenated oils from it soft spread products, and now boasts 0g per serving. Plus it still has the same great taste, contains essential vitamins A, D and E, and has 70% less saturated fat and 30% fewer calories than butter1. Nutritious Eating, from Toddlerhood to Teens to Adulthood The survey also found that eating patterns developed as children are likely to continue into adulthood. In fact, more than half of moms with children ages 5-12 (56%) are very concerned that their kids know about healthy diet and exercise patterns. This concern doesn't dissipate drastically even as kids grow and become more independent, with 44% of parents still involved in ensuring healthy eating and exercise habits translate into the teen years (13-17). In addition: Parents are getting their kids involved in meal preparation from an early age (54% of kids ages 5-12) as a guidance tool to better eating habits. They are also actively teaching kids about the benefits of healthy eating at a young age (66%, 5-12) and continuing these practices into the teen years (60%, 13-17) Good eating habits develop through years of teaching. More than half of respondents' (51%) say that they eat more healthfully than their parents, and 51% expect their kids will eat even healthier than they do when they grow up Some 47% of moms are consciously avoiding ingredients that they know are bad for their kids, but 94% of parents do agree that some fats are essential for a healthy diet So which fats, exactly, are essential? Simply put, they're the fats that we can't live without. There are two types of fats the body can't make; therefore it's important that they be part of a balanced diet. These essential fats are omega-6 linoleic acid (omega-6 LA) and omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3 ALA) polyunsaturated fatty acids – and they are found in every tub of Country Crock, as well as other foods such as fish and walnuts2. For more information, go to www.countrycrock.com. Methodological Notes: The “Country Crock Report on Food, Fitness and Families” Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research (www.WakefieldResearch.com) among 1,000 moms, aged 18 years old+ and with children ages 17 and younger, between March 26th and April 1st, using an email invitation and an online survey. The following sub-groups have been examined for this data addendum – moms who are concerned about their children understanding the importance of healthy diet and exercise (N=899) and moms who say their families need to eat a lot more healthfully (N=309). Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. For the 1000 interviews conducted in this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 3.1 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample. For the additional sub-groups, margin of error for moms who are concerned about their children understanding the importance of healthy diet is plus or minus 3.27 percentage points and for moms who say their families need to eat a lot more healthfully the margin of error is plus or minus 5.58 percentage points. The “Growing Great Families” survey was conducted by Wakefield Research among 1,000 mothers nationwide of children 17 and younger, between March 26 and April 1, 2010, using an email invitation and an online survey. About Unilever North America Unilever works to create a better future every day. We help people feel good, look good and get more out of life with brands and services that are good for them and good for others. Each day, around the world, we serve over two billion consumers. In the United States, Canada and the Greater Caribbean (Trinidad & Tobago, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico) the portfolio includes brand icons such as: Axe, Becel, Ben & Jerry's, Bertolli, Blue Band, Breyers, Caress, Country Crock, Degree, Dove personal care products, Hellmann's, Klondike, Knorr, Lipton, Omo, Popsicle, Promise, Q-Tips, Skippy, Slim-Fast, Suave, Sunsilk and Vaseline. All of the preceding brand names are registered trademarks of the Unilever Group of Companies. Dedicated to serving consumers and the communities where we live, work and play, Unilever employs more than 13,000 people across North America – generating nearly $10 billion in sales in 2009. For more information, visit www.unileverusa.com, www.unilever.ca, or www.unilevercaribbean.com. 1 Regular has 70 calories; Churn Style, 60 calories, and contain 7g of fat and 2g saturated fat; Light and Calcium Plus Vitamin D have 50 calories, contain 5g of fat and 1.5 saturated fat. All Country Crock tubs have 0g trans fat per serving. Country Crock is not a low-fat food. Butter has 100 calories, 11g of fat and 7g saturated fat per serving. 2 Country Crock Regular: 400 mg Omega-3 ALA, 3000 mg Omega-6 LA; Country Crock Light: 280 mg Omega-3 ALA, 2200 mg Omega-6 LA; Country Crock Calcium Plus Vitamin D: 280 mg Omega-3 ALA, 2200 mg Omega-6 LA; Country Crock Churn Style: 400 mg Omega-3 ALA, 3000 mg Omega-6 LA; Country Crock Whipped Easy Squeeze: 500 mg Omega-3 ALA, 3900 mg Omega-6 LA. Choose a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grain fiber-rich foods, and fat-free or low-fat dairy. Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=6311963&lang=en