46% of Women Go Online to Research Food for Themselves | Adweek 46% of Women Go Online to Research Food for Themselves | Adweek
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46% of Women Go Online to Research a Food's Nutritional Information

But not as often for their children

Branding campaigns form the backbone of the massive amounting of marketing behind the food and beverage industry. And while the focus of those campaigns is starting to shift to healthier lifestyles, making sure to get the right message to the right audience is always a challenge.

With that in mind, a new study from Womensforum.com found that twice as many mothers are concerned with their own weight more than the weight of their children. The family of Websites polled more than 1,000 women, and found that 70 percent are regularly worried about their own weight, versus 36 percent who are worried about the weight of their children. Diet food marketers should find those stats particularly interesting, and they should probably ramp up on digital marketing.

Just a little over 40 percent of mothers say they regularly turn to the Internet for information on health and nutrition, especially when it comes to their children. And 46 percent of respondents go online for the same information in relation to themselves and the adults in their household. Also, 39 percent of mothers use the Internet for information about dieting and calorie-counting for adults, but only 23 percent do the same for their children.

Indeed, the study also found that when purchasing food meant for the entire family, these same women valued low calorie, low fat and high protein options, suggesting that these women are not viewing dieting and weight issues as the same topic as general health and nutrition. This is a crucial difference for brands and agencies looking to target this demographic.

"Marketers need to embrace these priorities and understand critical nuances in the way that moms perceive and balance specific weight worries with concerns centered on the broader subject of health," said Mark Kaufman, founder and CEO, Womensforum.com.

Andrea Metcalf, health and fitness expert, Womensforum.com, added, "It may appear surprising that moms seem to be more concerned about their own weight rather than their children's, but if you look at what they actually buy at the supermarket, it becomes clear that they view health and nutrition differently from dieting and calorie-cutting."

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Study found that one-third of all U.S. adults were obese in 2011-2012—the latest year it has released such data—including 36.1 percent of all women. Over the years the survey has been done, that number has held fairly steady.

The CDC survey also found that approximately 30 percent of children age 8-15 misperceived their weight. Seventy-one percent of overweight girls and 81 percent of overweight boys believe they are the correct weight. Additionally, the survey discovered that more than 2 million children in this age range who are at a healthy weight believe they are either too thin or too heavy.

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