Thursday, March 10, 2011

Children believe cereal tastier, with cartoon characters on box

Anyone recall the documentary I had posted around Christmas? Consuming Kids- The commercialization of Childhood

If you missed it, take the time to watch it.
This bit of news reminded me of that documentary.

This is mind control people. The power of advertising. To influence your children, to believe, that some random product is better because it is associated with cartoon characters...

CHILDREN think cereal is tastier when it comes in a box with cartoon characters on it, new research has shown.

Children aged between four and six were asked to rate the taste of a cereal after only being shown the box in the study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Those shown a box with cartoon penguins Mumble and Gloria from the movie Happy Feet reported liking the cereal far more than those shown a box without the characters.

Children were then invited to taste the cereal and told it was named either Healthy Bits or Sugar Bits. Those told it was named Healthy Bits reported liking the taste more, but only if the box contained the cartoons.

''The results of this experiment provide evidence that the use of popular characters affects children's assessment of taste,'' researchers from the University of Pennsylvania said. ''Messages encouraging healthy eating may resonate with young children, but the presence of licensed characters on packaging potentially overrides children's assessment of nutritional merit.'

Professor Boyd Swinburn, director of Deakin University's WHO Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention, said a number of studies showed children responded strongly to characters on products ''so the marketing is obviously doing its job''.

''There's been a great reluctance in this country to provide regulatory protection from this type of marketing to children,'' he said.

Why is it that a government, any government does not wish to protect children from being preyed upon by mass marketers promoting garbage as food?


  1. That's interesting. Don't kids often eat their cereal whilst gazing at the box, on the table in front of them?

    Lucky for me, I always ate breakfast in front of the TV!

  2. the link for that doco is broken, please fix it. id be very interested in watching that documentary!

  3. Hey anonymous #2
    I checked it before I reposted and it was ok,
    It is embedded right in the post.
    but hold on I will recheck and relink.
    Apologies for that.

  4. Ok, I have it fixed. Let me know if it is ok and you are able to access it.