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Childhood Obesity Crisis Could Become Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

May 25, 2006

STAMFORD, Conn., May 25 /PRNewswire/ — The number of children who believe they have a weight problem exceeds government estimates about the number of overweight youths, a groundbreaking study has revealed.

The recently released Kid-Trition study conducted by Just Kid Inc., found 27 percent of kids describe themselves as being either slightly or very overweight, compared to the 18 percent of actual obese kids cited by the Centers for Disease Control.

“Everywhere kids go, they hear messages about childhood obesity,” according to Dr. Michelle Poris, a child psychologist on staff at Just Kid Inc. “While these messages may improve the lifestyle of some overweight and obese kids, we have major concerns about the impact of the over-abundance of these messages on otherwise healthy children.”

Just Kid Inc.’s Kid-Trition, is the first and only quantitative study, to look at childhood obesity from a kids’ point of view.

“Loads of adult experts have weighed in on this issue, but nobody has thought to speak with kids, the ones directly affected, to get their perspectives,” said Just Kid Inc., President, George Carey.

“With all the media attention focused on obesity, we may be causing a group of currently healthy kids who are especially sensitive to social acceptance and self-image to internalize the message of “obesity” even if they are not overweight, thus triggering cognitive distortions of their own body image and susceptibility to serious eating disorders later in life” according to Poris.

In fact, according to Kid-Trition, kids feel more pressure from their parents to eat healthy (85%) than to exercise (64%).

Stressing increased activity instead of pushing healthier foods, seems to result in more nutritious eating and elevated energy levels which thereby increases kid’s self esteem and sociability versus the other way around. Nutritious eating doesn’t necessarily lead to increased activity. For example:

   * Active kids pay more attention to health and nutrition than inactive.     They eat fresher foods, eat from different food groups, drink more     water, get plenty of vitamins and minerals avoid junk food and have food     or drinks that are good for them.   

That having been said, there are ways in which moms can better provide nutritious foods that kids love, the most compelling being a collision of health benefits and taste. There does not seem to be a lack of awareness about healthy foods available to kids today:

   * Kids overall are able to identify good for you foods (fruit, milk,     cheese) as being healthier than others (fruit snacks, cereal bars,     sports drinks, diet soda, candy)   

However, the real issue is that there is a lack of healthy foods or beverages that most kids will eat or choose over their current favorite. Good for you food and beverages must first and foremost taste great and then be paired with foods and beverages that deliver additional benefits.

Based on additional findings from Kid-Trition, Just Kid Inc. was able to generate dozens of kid-validated good for you strategic growth platforms that can be used to provide fact-based guidance on both new product and good for you brand positioning and research for our clients.

Kid-Trition is the first proprietary quantitative study that reports on opinions, beliefs, needs and desires about nutrition and health among kids. Kid-Trition was fielded to a nationally representative sample of 1536, 8-12 year old tweens.

Just Kid Inc. is one of the country’s leading kid marketing groups specializing in product innovation, kid brand positioning/strategy and all forms of kid market research.

Just Kid Inc.

CONTACT: Janet Oak of Just Kid Inc., +1-203-358-2140,joak@justkidinc.com

Web site: http://www.justkidinc.com/




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