nos-trum. pronunciation: \nos'-trum\. noun. Etymology: Latin, neuter of noster our, ours.
1. a medicine of secret composition recommended by its preparer but usually without scientific proof of its effectiveness.
2. a usually questionable remedy or scheme.
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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Kids Eat Carrots With Cartoon Stickers To Entice Them...Once.

Another nominee for the Dopey Research Award.

Read how the researchers described this study.
Researchers at Yale's Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity asked children ages 4 to 6 which snacks they wanted: gummy fruit, graham crackers or carrots labeled with stickers of the cartoon characters, or identical snacks without the stickers. They also asked which tasted better.  Most of the 40 children wanted the snacks labeled with cartoon stickers. Most also said the gummy fruit and graham crackers with the stickers tasted better, but not the carrots.  ``We now have clear evidence of something many people suspected -- that the use of these licensed characters has an impact on children's preferences in food,'' said Dr. Thomas Robinson, director of the Center for Healthy Weight at Stanford University School of Medicine.
Is that REALLY the interesting aspect of this research?

Readers of Nostrums know I am contemptuous of efforts to control childhood obesity by taking away toys-- and, in this case, cartoon stickers--from food.

I think the research shows  the following:  you can fool kids with a fancy picture until they eat what's underneath and then they won't do it again.  They'll go for the sugary stuff without the picture.  Kids aren't stupid.  (Actually they'll probably rip off the stickers and put them on the sugary stuff, then eat that)

People (and kids) who eat the wrong things do so because they can.  Take away the Happy Meal toys...I don't care...if it make you feel better.  But you're wasting your time. 

Obesity stems from an imbalance in food types, stress, depression, boredom, inactivity.  Taking away the toys and stickers, and labeling calories, won't do squat.

Doc D


The 50 Best Health Blogs said...

Gosh, are you saying that my Chicken McNuggets aren't really better because of that Ronald clown guy? Would Ronald McDonald lead me astray?


Doc D said...

Of course they're better, but only when you're REALLY depressed. :)

Anonymous said...

Hmmm... My kids are perfectly happy to much on carrots. Of course, their choice isn't carrots vs food decorated with cute stickers; it's carrots vs going hungry. Funny how well that works.

Doc D said...

The experimental method was flawed. They controlled for the "sticker" variable but not the "food" variable. What if kids were offered stickers to eat?

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