Advertising Sways KidsThat's amazing.
It's not the food, it's the brand name. Marketing strongly affects 4-year-olds' food preferences, find Stanford University pediatrics researcher Thomas N. Robinson, M.D., and colleagues.
Robinson and colleagues studied 63 low-income children enrolled in Head Start centers in California. The kids ranged in age from 3 years to 5 years.
Told they were playing a food-tasting game, the kids sat at a table with a screen across the middle. A researcher reached around either side of the screen to put out two identical food samples: slices of a hamburger, french fries, chicken nuggets, milk, or baby carrots.
The only difference between the pairs of food samples was that one came in a plain wrapper, cup, or bag, and the other came in a clean, unused McDonald's wrapper, cup, or bag. The kids were asked whether they liked one of the foods best, or whether they tasted the same.
In all cases, the majority of the kids said the "best" foods were those linked to the McDonald's brand, even though the only differences between the bags were the McDonald's logos (no special advertising materials were used).
77 percent of the kids said the same french fries, from McDonald's, were better in a McDonald's bag than in a plain bag (13 percent liked the ones in the plain bag; 10 percent could tell they were the same). 61 percent of the kids said milk tasted better in a McDonald's cup (21 percent liked milk in a plain cup; 18 percent could tell it was the same). 59 percent of the kids said chicken nuggets tasted better in a McDonald's bag (18 percent liked them in a plain bag; 23 percent could tell they were the same). 54 percent of the kids said carrots tasted better in a McDonald's bag (23 percent liked them in a plain bag; another 23 percent could tell they were the same). 48 percent of the kids liked hamburgers better in a McDonald's wrapper (37 percent liked them in a plain wrapper; 15 percent could tell they were the same).
Ever since I found out I have high blood pressure and low "good" cholesterol, I've been trying to eat less sodium and fried foods. Also, more fish: smoked salmon, sushi and cooked shrimp. And I recently re-discovered the real pleasure in fresh, raw carrots, celery and cucumbers. Crisp, watery and refreshing. Yes, I do dip them in a bit of ranch dressing, but I figure the benefits of the veggies outweigh the tasty poison I'm putting on them.
The point to living is to stay alive for as long as you can and enjoy it. I suppose.