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Mothers Overestimate Dietary Quality

Mothers have been found to dramatically overestimate the quality of their preschoolers’ diets

November 23, 2010 |
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Supplementary Info

Sources Cited


Image thanks to Joe Shlabotnik.


One reason kids may not be eating better is that maybe their parents overestimate the quality of their child’s diet. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. I mean if they think their kids are already eating well, then there’s no reason to change. For the first time ever, this theory was actually tested
The mothers of 2,000 preschoolers were interviewed. What percentage of moms insisted that their child’s diet was good? The vast majority. What percentage of their kids diets were actually good? Now note this is in accordance with the USDA healthy eating guidelines, which aren’t exactly strict. Let’s look.
Only point two percent—1 in every 500 kids. The vast majority of mothers overestimate the quality of their child’s diet.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

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Dr. Michael Greger

Doctor's Note

Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. Also, there are 1,686 other subjects covered in the rest of my videos--please feel free to explore them as well!

For some context, please check out my associated blog post: Protecting Our Babies From Pollutants

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  • StrayKat

    The source link is incorrect and brings up a 1991 study by the same lead authors on muscarinic cholinergic agonists and antagonists. The correct link is here:

    • Michael Greger M.D.

      Thank you so much StrayKat–corrected!

  • John

    Is there any another study to estimate how European mothers do? Do they know more about healthy eating towards their child’s diet that american mothers?

    Would be interesting to know.
    John from Malta

  • Dawn Bolton

    Mothers Don’t know how to COOK any foods except for out of a box and into a microwave.

  • Dawn Bolton

    They should add cooking, sewing, cleaning house, cleaning yourself, how to clean baby & how to manage bills type of classes that have to be taken before or while food stamps are given out.

  • Nygel

    This sould be a psycology video. It’s called cognitive disonaunce .

  • uworoju

    Seriously! ‘Mothers’?!