The Journal of Pediatrics published the results of an interesting study. Researchers wanted to see how young children are affected by commercials for junk food vs parental guidance. The “experiment” was conducted on 75 children aged 3 to 5:
They watched two cartoons, with a commercial between each cartoon. Half the children saw a commercial for apple slices with dipping sauce and half saw a commercial for French fries.
After watching the cartoons and commercials, the children were allowed to select a coupon for one of the advertised food items, with input from their parents. Half of the parents were told to encourage their child to select the healthy food, while the other half were told to remain neutral.
Among the children who saw the commercial for French fries, 71 percent chose the coupon for French fries if their parents remained neutral, while only 55 percent opted for the French fries coupon if their parents encouraged them to choose the healthy food.
Of the children who saw the commercial for apple slices, 46 percent chose the coupon for French fries if their parents remained neutral, while only 33 percent picked the coupon for French fries if their parents encouraged them to make the healthy choice. more from healthfinder.gov…
What can we learn from this?
That TV commercials work! As if we didn’t now that. Why would the marketing teams at food companies pour billions of dollars into advertising if that wasn’t the case.
And why would lobbying firms earn millions for a recent push to soften federal guidelines regarding marketing to children?
So yes, as parents we can educate our kids and play positive role models. But dang it, the junk food companies sure are making tough.
What do you think?