Do cartoon characters influence childhood overeating?

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Do cartoon characters influence childhood overeating?
Do cartoon characters influence childhood overeating?

According to a new study published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology, psychologists have found that children eat more high-calorie foods during and after watching cartoons with chubby characters.

Do cartoon characters influence childhood binge eating?

Study has shown that children eat twice as much sweets and starchy foods when watching cartoons with obese characters than when watching cartoons where the characters are slim and athletic.

The study involved 300 children in three age groups (8, 12 and 13 years old). It was found that they all perceive rounded and especially egg-shaped heroes as fat, even if these heroes do not exist in reality, and it is impossible to understand whether they have a normal weight.

Lead author of the study, Professor Margaret Campbell of the University of Colorado, said: “Because this is a new direction in the study of children and their stereotypes of perception, we could not predict in advance how exactly they would rate the weight of the characters: as normal or overweight. But surprisingly, children tend to project human norms onto cartoon creatures - even creatures for which there are no real-life counterparts in our world.”

She explains that “Children don't necessarily rely on previous impressions when making food decisions. But now we can at least try to understand what triggers children have when they choose what to eat. And knowing this, perhaps it will be possible to encourage them to choose more he althy products.”

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