Lecturing kids on 'benefits of healthy food' pulls them away from eating it
A new study has revealed that when children hear about the benefits of healthy food, they're less likely to eat it.
Authors, Michal Maimaran (Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern
University) and Ayelet Fishbach (University of Chicago Booth School of Business), said that they had predicted that when food was presented to children as making them strong or as a tool to achieve a goal, they automatically concluded the food to be not as tasty and hence consumed less of it.
The authors conducted five studies with children between the ages of 3 and 5, which revealed that children ate more when they did not receive any message about the foods making them strong mentally or physically.
They said that parents and caregivers, who struggle in getting their children to eat healthy, would be better off simply serving the food without saying anything about it, or emphasizing how yummy the food is.
Brands marketing food items to parents and children could use these results to de-emphasize the benefits of healthy food and focus more on the positive experience of eating the food. The results also help to empower policy makers and medical institutions looking to combat childhood obesity and juvenile diabetes.
The study is published in the Journal of Consumer Research.
(Posted on 23-07-2014)