Could Cartoon Characters Get Kids to Eat More Fruits and Veggies?

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[Source:  Medical News Today]


Cartoon characters are often used to market so-called junk food to children. However, new research from Italy suggests that the same technique might be used to nudge preschoolers into eating more fresh fruit and vegetables too. Details of the investigation appear in the International Journal of Markets and Business Systems.

Fabrizio Baldassarre and Raffaele Campo of the University of Bari Aldo Moro, Italy, explain how investigated how young children perceived different food items – savoury and sweet snacks and fresh fruit – based on whether or not the food had a sticker showing their favourite cartoon characters. The study showed that even children averse to choosing the healthy option could be persuaded to eat the fruit if it was associated with said cartoon character.

“Marketing to children is strongly related to psychology and marketers are often counselled by psychologists in order to better understand children’s desires and dreams but also the modality for presenting the products,” the team reports. Of course, marketing of what is commonly regarded as the less healthy option, crisps, sweets and other high-

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