Posts Tagged ‘ cartoons ’

Your Child’s Favorite Cartoon May Influence His Eating Habits

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015

Boys watching cartoonsHere’s more proof that the media influences children—and not always in a good way: A new first-of-its-kind study found that kids are actually more likely to consume unhealthy foods after viewing pudgy, “egg-shaped” cartoon characters.

Even though these characters are completely imaginary, kids still attributed human body norms to character’s body shapes, the researchers found. After watching a cartoon with a plump character, it was found that children were almost twice as likely to consume high-calorie, indulgent foods when compared to children who viewed healthier looking characters or no characters at all.

Researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder collected data from approximately 300 children, broken up into three groups by age—averaging 8, 12, and 13 years old.

But don’t switch off your kids’ cartoon programs just yet! The study also found that even when a child viewed an overweight cartoon character, if they were reminded about healthy eating habits before digging into cookies and candy, they made more healthful choices.

Related: The 20 Best Snacks for Kids

“Kids don’t necessarily draw upon previous knowledge when they’re making decisions,” lead author Margaret C. Campbell said in a press release. “But perhaps if we’re able to help trigger their health knowledge with a quiz just as they’re about to select lunch at school, for instance, they’ll choose the more nutritious foods.”

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn.

How to Eat Healthy: Raising Nutrition-Smart Kids
How to Eat Healthy: Raising Nutrition-Smart Kids
How to Eat Healthy: Raising Nutrition-Smart Kids

Image: Boys watching cartoons via Shutterstock

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Disney to Restrict Ads to Include Only Healthier Foods

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

The Walt Disney Company has announced plans to establish a new set of nutritional standards for all food products that advertise on their television programs, radio stations, and websites.  The initiative is the company’s response to the American obesity epidemic, that affects millions of children. The New York Times reports:

The restrictions on ads extend to Saturday-morning cartoons on ABC stations owned by Disney. Under the new rules, products like Capri Sun drinks and Kraft Lunchables meals — both current Disney advertisers — along with a wide range of candy, sugared cereal and fast food, will no longer be acceptable advertising material.

The initiative, which Disney revealed at a Washington news conference with the first lady, Michelle Obama, stretches into other areas. For instance, Disney will reduce the amount of sodium by 25 percent in the 12 million children’s meals served annually at its theme parks, and create what it calls fun public service announcements promoting child exercise and healthy eating.

Image: Girl wearing Mickey Mouse ears, via Shutterstock.

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