Two interesting studies have been done that suggest the power of food marketing on children. In one study, researchers found that cereal boxes with cartoons on them actually made the food taste better to the children than those without.
This research was piggybacked off of another study done by Sesame Workshop that involved giving children a choice between eating broccoli or chocolate. 4 out of 5 kids went for the chocolate, but when they put Elmo on the broccoli and an unknown cartoon character on the chocolate, at least half of the kids went for the broccoli.
Even though I don’t have children yet, these studies intrigued me because 1. They prove that food marketing to kids can easily have a negative impact on what kids eat, especially if the product being marketed is unhealthy. But on the other hand, 2. They show that food marketing can be used to to influence kids to eat healthier products, which is definitely not a bad thing.
What do you think? Should we use food marketing to promote healthy eating to kids? If you have kids, have you witnessed popular food characters influencing the way they want to eat? Feel free to spit your words in the comment section.