"Parents are being responsible and conscientious when it comes to the needs of their children, but less so in terms of their own health," Marianne Smith Edge, senior vice president at International Food Information Council Foundation, said in a statement.
The IFIC Foundation's 2012 Food & Health Survey revealed only 16 percent of parents said they have a very or extremely healthful diet, while nearly 70 percent said they worry more about the healthfulness of the foods and beverages they buy for their children than those they buy for themselves. Twenty-three percent of adults who are not parents said they had a very or extremely healthful diet.
Smith-Edge said parents can positively impact their own health and their children's by basing meals on nutrient-rich foods with fewer calories, such as fruits and vegetables, whole and enriched grains, lean meats, beans and nuts and low-fat or fat-free dairy foods.
Parents were less likely than non-parents to describe their level of physical activity as vigorous -- 12 percent versus 17 percent.
Fifty-four percent of parents said they were concerned about foodborne illnesses versus 43 percent of non-parents, while 49 percent of parents said they were concerned about the safety of imported foods compared with 38 percent of non-parents.
The survey of 1,057 participants included 29 percent of adults ages 18-49 with children age 18 and younger. No margin of error was provided.