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This study indicates the visual prominence of healthier options in both food choice and portion size on TV cooking programs leads young viewers to crave those healthier choices then act on those cravings.
The effect that exposure to healthier options has on children is strongly influenced by personality traits. For example, children who don't like new foods are less likely to show a stronger desire for healthier choices after watching a TV program featuring healthier foods than a child who does enjoy trying new foods. As they grow older, though, they start to feel more responsible for their eating habits and can fall back on information they learned as children. Researchers believe this may indicate watching programs with healthier options can still have a positive impact on children's behavior, even if it is delayed by age.
"Schools represent the most effective and efficient way to reach a large section of an important target population, which includes children as well as school staff and the wider community," Dr. Folkvord commented. "Positive peer and teacher modeling can encourage students to try new foods for which they exhibited distaste previously."
Poor dietary habits during childhood and adolescence have multiple negative effects on several health and wellness indicators, including achievement and maintenance of healthy weights, growth and development patterns, and dental health.
"The likelihood of consuming fruits and vegetables among youth and adults is strongly related to knowing how to prepare most fruits and vegetables. Increased cooking skills among children can positively influence their consumption of fruit and vegetables in a manner that will persist into adulthood," Dr. Folkvord added. Source:
Elsevier Journal reference:
Folkvord, F., et al. (2019) Watching TV Cooking Programs: Effects on Actual Food Intake Among Children. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior . doi.org/10.1016/j.jneb.2019.09.016 .
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