Want kids to eat healthier? Don’t tell them, show them

July 19, 2013, Medical Xpress

If given the choice between eating a salad loaded with veggies or a burger and fries, most kids — and for that matter, most adults — would likely pick the less healthful option. But instead of telling kids to eat more fruits and vegetables, Iowa State University researchers found the trick may be to convince them visually.

Laura Smarandescu, an assistant professor of marketing, and Brian Mennecke, an associate professor of information systems, did just that using a digital display featuring a rotating image of a salad along with menu information. They found salad consumption among kids increased as much as 90 percent when a digital display showed a rotating image of the salad. The results are from a field study conducted in July at the YMCA of Greater Des Moines camp in Boone, Iowa. The camp is for children with diabetes, ages 6 to 12. Continue reading