Fruit tops snack rankings, according to study

A report from the NPD Group on snacking in America found that snacking has grown to constitute 20 percent of eating occasions. In-home morning snacking has demonstrated the strongest growth category, with an average increase of 22 morning snacks per person since 2002. According to the report, healthy eaters (20 percent of respondents) snack more frequently than others, but tend to choose healthier snacks like fruit, yogurt and nutrition bars when they do. The research finds that snacking is motivated by several factors, including health and weight, hunger satiety, convenience, routine or habit, satisfying a craving, and as treats or reward. Fresh fruit ranked as the top snack option in all but one category: snacking as a treat or reward. The study says seniors eat the most fruit, followed by children age 12 and under.