Eighty-four per cent of Canadians snack regularly - but are we doing it right?

    New IPSOS Reid survey shows Canadians need help choosing healthy snacks

    MONTREAL, Aug. 21 /CNW/ - A new IPSOS Reid survey released today reveals
Canadians are snacking more than they used to but are still not making the
wisest choices. The survey indicates Canadians are able to identify 'healthy'
snack options, yet they aren't reaching for those healthy foods when it comes
to snack time.
    When asked what they would identify as 'healthy snacks', the responses
include whole grain cereal (82 per cent), granola bars and cereal bars (71 per
cent), and crackers (16 per cent). However, when asked about their snacks in
the past week, although 65 per cent of survey respondents listed fruit, other
top choices included less nutritious foods like chips (48 per cent), candy or
chocolate (39 per cent) and cookies (39 per cent).
    "With 84 per cent of the population snacking regularly, we need to start
treating snacks the way we treat our meals - as an important way to boost the
nutrients, vitamins and minerals we take in," says Shannon Crocker, Registered
Dietitian. "Snacking should make us feel good because it has lots of benefits
when done right. Choosing the right snack can help prevent overeating and
impulse eating, and can help us achieve our daily nutritional requirements."
    The survey also reveals that most snacking is done in the latter part of
the day, with 60 per cent of Canadians snacking in the evening. Nearly 25
percent prefer to snack just before bed.
    "It is interesting that many people like to snack in the evening. Bedtime
snacking has a bad rap, but if you make smart choices it can be okay," says
Crocker. "If you want a late night snack, choose something light that has
protein to keep your hunger at bay, and carbohydrate to feed your brain as you
sleep. A bowl of whole grain cereal with milk is a perfect bedtime snack."

    Simple tips for smart snacking

    When you're trying to choose a snack that is healthy but will also
satisfy, remember a few basic tips. First, try to make sure that your snack
covers at least two food groups. For example, celery with peanut butter, whole
grain cereal with milk, yogurt with fruit. Plan ahead so that you have healthy
options available wherever you are, so you won't cave in and hit the corner
store. Stock the kitchen with fruits and veggies, keep whole grain cereal on
your office shelf, and have a small container of unsalted nuts in the car. If
you do purchase pre-packaged snack items, make sure to read the label and
choose those that are lower in fat and calories and that offer fibre and

    Whole grain cereal and milk - a snack superstar

    Traditionally a breakfast staple, the combination of whole grain cereal
and milk offers a powerful shot of nutrients that also make it an ideal snack
option. It's fast, easy, and satisfying.
    Milk, a source of energy and 15 essential nutrients, has long been known
for its protective effect on bone health. Now, more and more studies are
showing that the nutrients in milk may also play a role in managing blood
pressure, preventing kidney stones, reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes and
much more. Furthermore, many studies have also shown that a diet high in
calcium, particularly from milk products, may help with weight management.
    A growing number of studies credit breakfast cereals with helping to
fulfill daily nutritional requirements while helping manage body weight. Since
whole grain cereals contain all three parts of the grain, they provide a host
of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and antioxidants in addition to fibre.
Whole grains may also protect against certain chronic diseases such as
diabetes, cancer and heart disease. Not all breakfast cereals contain whole
grains so it is important to read the labels or look for the 'whole grain
check' on General Mills cereal boxes.

    About Dairy Farmers of Canada

    Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) is involved in a number of initiatives that
promote good nutrition and healthy living. The Registered Dietitians at DFC
are committed to understanding and translating the science and art of healthy
eating into effective, innovative, and award winning resources. DFC is
completely funded by dairy producers.

    About General Mills Canada

    Established in 1954, General Mills Canada Corporation is based in
Mississauga, Ontario. The company is best known for the many quality brands
enjoyed by Canadian consumers each day. The company's flagship brand is
Cheerios(*). Additional key cereal brands include Honey Nut Cheerios(*), Oatmeal
Crisp(*), Nesquik(R) and Lucky Charms(*). General Mills also makes Betty Crocker(*),
Nature Valley(*), Pillsbury(*), Green Giant(*), Hamburger Helper(*) and Old El Paso(*)
products. With the primary focus being Youth, Fitness and Nutrition, General
Mills is dedicated to fostering positive behaviours amongst young Canadians
through the Champions Grants for Healthy Kids(*) initiative. In other areas,
General Mills has been a long time supporter of organizations such as the
Heart and Stroke Foundation, Concerned Children's Advertisers and Hockey

    For more information please visit everydaycelebrations.ca.

    (*) Trademarks/Marques Déposée of/de General Mills or its affiliates
    (R) Trademark Owner/Propriétaire des Marques: Société des Produits
        Nestlé S.A., Vevey, Switzerland/Suisse

    The latest findings on Canadians' snacking habits

    84 % are regular snackers
    49 % eat in between meals at least once a day
    45 % say they are busier than they used to be
    27 % say they snack more than they used to due to time constraints
    37 % claim to feel guilty when they snack
    60 % say they typically snack in the evening
    24 % say they typically snack before bedtime
    82 % say their healthiest choice for snacking is whole-grain cereals
    49 % recognize that milk is the healthiest beverage to drink

    IPSOS Reid survey based on 1000 respondents within Canada. Data collected
    from July 13 - 16, 2007

For further information:

For further information: and to arrange an interview with Shannon
Crocker, please contact Will Lamont, Sophie Awai, Trillium Corporate
Communications Inc, (416) 322-3030 ext 241, 227, will@trilliumpr.com,

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