Beleaguered food producers have received a welcome boost in the form of a recent global survey by online market researcher Lightspeed Research which suggested parents, not food manufacturers, are generally viewed as responsible for childhood obesity.

The survey, conducted in nine countries around the world, revealed that 85% of US respondents felt parents were responsible for the rise in obesity in children, while advertisers and food manufacturers were blamed by only 5% and 7% of the respondents respectively. Interestingly, government, schools and restaurants were felt to be the least to blame, each receiving only 1% of the votes.

Overall, 75% of the 136,441 global respondents felt that parents were the most to blame. The highest level of blame attributed to parents was in the US (85%), followed by Sweden (81%), the UK (78%) and Australia (77%).

Italian respondents blamed parents the least (57%), but in Italy advertisers were perceived as being more culpable, with 24% of Italian respondents blaming advertisers for the rise in child obesity.