When it comes to healthy eating, the numbers tell the story about why this trend gets so much attention. Overall, 47% of Americans have at least one key risk factor — high blood pressure, high cholesterol or smoking — for heart disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 30 million Americans have Type 2 diabetes, and more than 1.6 million have been diagnosed with cancer.
These three diseases alone reflect why a high number of consumers are looking to satisfy their specific dietary requirements in everyday baked foods, according to Baking & Snack’s report in the February issue. Healthy food choices aren’t just for adults with physical ailments. Children have been diagnosed with similar issues.
“The state of kids’ health today is alarming,” said Nancy Farrell Allen, MS, registered dietitian nutritionist, Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson. “I see childhood failure to thrive as well as childhood obesity and eating disorders. Some ailments such as diabetes, elevated blood fat levels, asthma, or anxiety and depression are prevalent in the pediatric population, too.”
Children rely on parents or caregivers for a nutrient-rich diet. However, only one-third of parents think they do a good job helping their children eat well, and only one in six rate their children’s diets as nutritious, according to a 2017 poll by the University of Michigan. A major inhibitor for parents is a tension between buying foods that are healthy and those that their children like. That’s where bakers and snack producers can have a huge impact on family’s well-being going forward.