A recent study done by Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine in August highlighted the effect of fast food branding to Children's taste preferences. This is a surprising yet sad finding. The study took sixty three 3 - 5 years old children from low income family to test the effect of fast food branding. This study was timed well since it was held in wake of the obesity epidemic which is growing to an alarming rate.
The researchers asked the children to taste five different foods such as hamburger, carrots, milk (from grocery), chicken nuggets and french fries (from McD). Each food was divided into two parts and packaged with different wrappers. One with the brightly colored familiar golden arch wrapper and the others were covered in wrapper without the McDonalds logo.
Although obviously both foods in different wrappers were the same foods, most children said the foods wrapped in McDonalds wrapper tasted better. 77% said that the fries in McDonalds wrapper tasted better than the same fries wrapped in plain wrapper. While 54% children prefer carrot in McDonalds wrapper rather than the one in plain wrapper.
The study concluded that according to children, foods and drinks tasted better if they were from McDonalds. And the effects are greater to children who have television at home and children who were a regular customer in McDonalds.
The job of parents is becoming more tedious. In addition to battling the children from seeing inappropriate television programs, they have to stop children from being exposed excessively to fast food ads. And this can be a losing battle since we have no control over the advertisements displayed in the television. Perhaps the younger generation will be more addicted to fast food in the next 20 years or so. Is McDonalds the guilty party? What do you think?
The study is available in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.
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Labels: diet issues