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Takes

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Ads? What ads?: Taking a Peek Into the National Shopping Cart
Whatever else they eat, many consumers are reluctant to swallow their pride and admit that advertising guides their choices in the supermarket. Is that really such a shameful confession? The charts come from a massive survey conducted for Parade by Mark Clements Research. (We'll regale you with more findings in weeks to come.) While one expects some people to say they're impervious to sales pitches, the study finds 23 percent of parents denying that their children "ever influence" the foods they buy. Do such people have great strength of character, or are they just weird? In general, people are less solicitous of their kids than you might suppose when it comes to food. Though respondents put price a distant second to taste when asked to rank the factors governing their own choices as grocery shoppers, price was the top factor when parents were asked to say what influences their food buys for their children. Hmm. Meanwhile, you can see from one chart that people have digested the conventional wisdom about the perils of fat and cholesterol, relegating the once-proud calorie to the status of also-ran.

Steakholders: Meet the Beefaholics
To think that mankind was cast out of Eden because apples looked so tempting. Nowadays, people would sooner go to early graves than eat the amount of fruit the experts decree. Consider the results of an online poll by FitnessLink, whose Web site deals with health and fitness. Though 82 percent of participants said they believe red meat is "bad for you," 81 percent confessed to eating it daily. Twenty-seven percent said they don't eat fruit, period. And these, mind you, are people sufficiently health-conscious to be hanging out at a fitness-oriented Web site. Yikes!