Someone pass a side of carrots here because this is a report that I’m having a hard time believing. Could chubby characters be making our children obese? Believe it or not, that’s what some researchers are saying.
Apparently, children who were shown a picture of a pudgy protagonist consumed more than twice as much junk food as those who looked at a trimmer character, according to the report published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology.
Oreo kidding me!
(Sorry about that – but I couldn’t resist!)
“We didn’t know for sure whether fictional cartoon characters would evoke a sense of human behavior,” Margaret Campbell, a professor of marketing at the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado, Boulder said, according to The Today Show. “We were interested in looking at this because children see cartoon characters, like Patrick Star, for example, acting like humans.”
She added that she and her colleagues ran a series of experiments using drawings of cartoon characters that the researchers suspected might trigger an association with certain stereotypes in the minds of kids viewing them.
What’s more, after a group of children finished their questionnaires, a researcher told them, “thanks for your help, you can take some candy,” and pointed to bowls containing Hershey Kisses or Starbursts. The average number of candies taken by those who looked at the overweight character was 3.8, as compared to 1.55 taken by children looking at a trimmer one.
So does this mean we should ban our children from watching animated cartoons such as Big Hero 6 or SpongeBob SquarePants? That of course is up to each individual parent out there, but I for one am not worried. My children are only going to eat what I provide for them. Plus, children should be looking up to their parents as healthy role models in their lives, not cartoon characters.
Thoughts, Hot Moms?