5-6 Year Olds Pick Healthy Cereal Over Sugar Cereal – Really.

March 15 2011 - 1:58 PM

Wow. I would never have guessed that kids want to eat healthy. It seems to be the case until marketing slaps the cartoon character on the box (not to mention the toy in the box). Then they want the sugar. Talk about the wrong reinforcement.
This is all results of a new study from the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine: "Influence of Licensed Spokescharacters and Health Cues on Children's Ratings of Cereal Taste".

Conclusions:  The use of media characters on food packaging affects children's subjective taste assessment. Messages encouraging healthy eating may resonate with young children, but the presence of licensed characters on packaging potentially overrides children's assessments of nutritional merit.

They like what we tell them to like. Duh.
Shame on us.

–Hat tip for the AWESOME picture to the Daily Dish