Great Britain

Americans blame their snacking habit on GENETICS and their parents

AMERICANS have blamed their snacking on genetics, as well as their parents, new research reveals.

A new survey of 2,000 Americans found 53 percent said they inherited their food habits from their parents.

Respondents said food played an important role in their upbringing, with three in five saying their snacking habits were influenced by their cultural heritage.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of California Prunes, the study also looked at how a family’s food influence extends to nearly every aspect of respondents’ lives.

People said holiday meals (35 percent), and desserts and appetizers (30 percent), were foods they loved about their culture while growing up.

Now, as adults, 34 percent of respondents said they serve the same foods at holidays and parties to their families and friends.

And sitting down to eat with their loved ones at the dinner table was also a tradition cherished by many respondents.

Forty-one percent said they enjoyed family dinnertime during their childhood, and three in four parents now do the same with their families.

Results also showed respondents loved munching on cookies (37 percent), potato chips (32 percent), and popcorn (32 percent) from a young age.

For 37 percent, even eating a particular food a certain way can be traced back to their families, as well as what types of snacks they bring on vacations and road trips (40 percent).  

While many respondents link their snacking habits to their families, more than half (52 percent) said they snack out of necessity because they don’t have consistent mealtime, and 59 percent added that the snacks in their homes are hard to resist.

Consequently, seven in 10 admit that their snacking schedule is not optimal for their health.

Emotional tension can be linked to snacking as well; 29 percent blame stress at home for their snacking habits, and 22 percent blame stress at work.

“Snacking is here to stay, so it’s time to reset our habits and retrain our cravings. Think about snacks as mini-meals — quick and delicious, but also nutritious,” said registered dietitian (RD) and nutritional expert Leslie J. Bonci.


“Go for powerful pairings to get the most out of snacking occasions such as protein and produce: guacamole with bean-based chips, cheese, and prunes, hummus and veggies, or a smoothie made with milk, yogurt, berries, and prunes to add some great fiber.”

Another food inheritance 43 percent of respondents picked up is the foods they should eat when trying to eat healthier.

When it comes to healthy snacks, 28 percent said they reach for fortified foods rich in vitamins and 21 percent said they look for snacks with probiotics.

Other food lessons that respondents plan on implementing include trying new foods, not wasting food and the importance of eating as a family.

Moreover, food helps keep families close, as nearly half (49 percent) of participants said they made a new recipe they found online with a family member during the pandemic.

“Food is a central part of the family experience, whether it’s sitting around a table to share meals each day or grabbing some snacks for a family hike,” said Bonci.

“Choosing nutrient-rich foods that help support overall wellness — such as California Prunes for building strong bones or promoting gut health — are not only tasty but also healthy for the entire family!”  

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