«IF IT’S HEALTHY AND YOU KNOW IT, DO YOU EAT? HEALTH PROMPTS REDUCE PRESCHOOLERS’ CONSUMPTION Michal Maimaran Northwestern University Ayelet ...»
health, which relies on actual fat and calorie content and complex implicit associations (Chandon and Wansink 2007a; Finkelstein and Fishbach 2010), develops at a later age. Therefore, among older children, who process information in a more complex manner (e.g., John 1999) acquire information differently (e.g., Peracchio 1992), and might rely less on taste when making food decision due to higher self-control, we may find different results.
Marketing Implications To conclude, our findings contribute to the understanding of what affects young children’s motivation and consumption behavior, as well as how health-related marketing affects their behavior. Our work suggests that when encouraging children to eat healthy food, focusing on the health benefits may backfire. Emphasizing the taste benefits, assuming these are credible, or even not mentioning the benefits at all, is superior to emphasizing health benefits in terms of encouraging consumption and creating a positive experience. This conclusion is consistent with Reicks et al. (2012), who find that merely placing pictures of vegetables on school lunch trays, without any accompanying messages, increased consumption of vegetables.
Marketing food as healthy may still have a positive impact on consumption among children, by influencing parents (and other caregivers) to purchase and serve this food. Parents affect children’s food choices by making specific foods available, by acting as models for their children, and by adjusting their behavior in specific situations (e.g., Young, Fors, and Hayes 2004). To the extent that parents are convinced some food is healthy, they can play a crucial role in increasing their children’s consumption of the healthy food, by simply serving these food
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Yummy condition This is Tara. Tara likes Today Tara ate the Tara thought the And she was happy to to eat a snack before ‘Wheat Thins crackers were yummy, play outside.
she goes out and play. Crackers’ for snack.
8.00 7.31 7.00 6.00 5.00 4.00 3.10 3.00 2.00 1.00
40% 35% 30% 20% 10%
* Children place a card with the picture of the Wheat Thins crackers on one of the empty boxes. If they think the crackers are similar to ice cream [onion], thus indicating liking [disliking], they place the crackers next to the ice cream [onion], or in the middle if they are not sure.