'Large portion of carrots to go, please'
At last a way to get kids to eat their greens. Put them in a McDonald's box.
Research carried out at at Stanford University in the USA found that children think food is tastier if it comes from the fast food chain — the magic even works with carrots.
A total of 63 children aged 2-5 were given two samples of each food, one in McDonalds packaging and one in plain wrapping. Apart from the packaging, the food was exactly the same. Chips were judged tastiest by six times as many children if they were McDonalds wrapped. There were similar results for all the other foods - chicken nuggets, burgers and even milk and carrots.
Reporting their findings in Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, the researchers said: By the early age of 3 to 5 years, low-income preschool children preferred the tastes of foods and drinks if they thought they were from McDonald's, demonstrating that brand identity can influence young children's taste perceptions. This was true even for carrots, a food that was not marketed by or available from McDonald's.'
This confirms previous findings that children as young as 2 are aware of brands.
Children were more likely to favour McDonalds if they ate there regularly and, in a finding that justifies the ban on junk-food advertising to under 16s, if they had more TVs in their house.
But those results for carrots are interesting. There's a health promotion idea in here if someone can put it into practice.
Page created on August 20th, 2007
Page updated on December 18th, 2009