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Cartoon characters beat health claims.

The Question: What is the influence of licensed media spokescharacters and nutritional cues on how children rate breakfast cereals?

The Study: Eighty children four to six years old were offered the same cereal in different packages. In one comparison some of the boxes had nationally known spokescharacters on the labels and others didn't. Sometimes the children were told the cereal was named "Healthy Bits" and other times "Sugar Bit."

The Results: When the children were asked to evaluate the cereal based on its taste, cereal in the boxes with the spokescharacters was rated as tasting better than the cereal in plainer boxes. Cereal with the healthier name was rated tastier that the unhealthy name cereal. Boxes with a spokescharacter and an unhealthy name were rated as tasting better than cereal in a plainer box but with the healthier name.

Comment: Tony the Tiger trumps Healthy Bits. Are you surprised?

Read More: Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 03/11

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Title Annotation:In the Literature
Publication:Pediatrics for Parents
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2011
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