Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

What would Batman eat?

Date:
July 19, 2012
Source:
Cornell Food & Brand Lab
Summary:
Researches examined whether the priming of a role model's food choices or the priming of healthy foods could influence children to make healthier fast food choices. Forty-five percent of the children selected apple fries after being shown pictures of superheroes and other role models, compared to 9 percent who chose apple fries with no superhero prompts. Parents using this tactic with their kids might be a realistic step to a healthier fast-food world.

Youngsters who are asked, "What would Batman eat?" choose foods that are more healthful than children who don't consider the food choices of superheroes, reports a Cornell study.
Credit: Image courtesy of Cornell Food & Brand Lab

In the ongoing battle to get children to eat healthfully, parents may do well invoking the names of superheroes to come to their rescue, say Cornell researchers.

Just as Popeye inspired a generation to eat spinach, such role models as Spiderman or Batman could help children make healthy choices, according to Brian Wansink, the John S. Dyson Professor of Marketing and director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab.

Wansink, with postdoctoral researcher Mitsuru Shimizu and visiting graduate student Guido Camps of Utrecht University in the Netherlands, conducted a study in which 22 children, ages 6-12, at a summer camp were asked if they wanted "apple fries" (thinly sliced raw apples) or French fries during several consecutive Wednesday lunches.

During one of those lunches, the children were first presented with 12 photos of real and fictional role models and asked, "Would this person order apple fries or French fries?"

The researchers hypothesized that children who thought admirable models would eat well would activate positive associations towards healthful food and become more likely to choose apple fries over French fries.

The results supported this theory: 10 (45 percent) of the children selected apple fries after viewing pictures of superheroes and other role models, compared with the two (9 percent) who chose apple fries during other lunches with no prompts. The study was recently published in the journal Pediatric Obesity.

"Fast food patronage is a frequent reality for many children and their parents. Simply instructing a parent to order healthier food for a child is neither empowering for a child nor easy for a parent," Wansink said. "Advising a parent to ask their child 'What would Batman eat?' might be a realistic step to take in what could be a healthier fast-food world.

"On average, children who selected apple fries consumed only 34 calories whereas children who selected French fries consumed 227 calories. That's almost seven times as many calories just from the side dish of the meal," he added. "If you eat fast food once a week, a small switch from French fries to apple fries could save your children almost three pounds of weight a year."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cornell Food & Brand Lab. The original article was written by Stacey Shackford. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. B. Wansink, M. Shimizu, G. Camps. What would Batman eat?: priming children to make healthier fast food choices. Pediatric Obesity, 2012; 7 (2): 121 DOI: 10.1111/j.2047-6310.2011.00003.x

Cite This Page:

Cornell Food & Brand Lab. "What would Batman eat?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 July 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120719105257.htm>.
Cornell Food & Brand Lab. (2012, July 19). What would Batman eat?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120719105257.htm
Cornell Food & Brand Lab. "What would Batman eat?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120719105257.htm (accessed August 30, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Australian Sheep Gets Long Overdue Haircut

Raw: Australian Sheep Gets Long Overdue Haircut

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) Hoping to break the record for world's wooliest, Shaun the sheep came up 10 pounds shy with his fleece weighing over 50 pounds after being shorn for the first time in years. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Minds Blown: Scientists Develop Fish That Walk On Land

Minds Blown: Scientists Develop Fish That Walk On Land

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) Canadian scientists looking into the very first land animals took a fish out of water and forced it to walk. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Ancient Wine Cellar Found In Israel

Huge Ancient Wine Cellar Found In Israel

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) An international team uncovered a large ancient wine celler that likely belonged to a Cannonite ruler. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins