Navigation Links
Preschool kids know what they like: Salt, sugar and fat
Date:1/25/2011

EUGENE, Ore. -- (Jan. 25, 2011) -- A child's taste preferences begin at home and most often involve salt, sugar and fat. And, researchers say, young kids learn quickly what brands deliver the goods.

In a study of preschoolers ages 3 to 5, involving two separate experiments, researchers found that salt, sugar and fat are what kids most prefer -- and that these children already could equate their taste preferences to brand-name fast-food and soda products.

In a world where salt, sugar and fat have been repeatedly linked to obesity, waiting for children to begin school to learn how to make wise food choices is a poor decision, says T. Bettina Cornwell, a professor of marketing in the University of Oregon Lundquist College of Business. Children even are turning to condiments to add these flavors -- and with them calories -- to be sure that the foods they eat match their taste preferences.

"Our findings present a public policy message," Cornwell said. "If we want to pursue intervention, we probably need to start earlier." Parents, she said, need to seriously consider the types of foods they expose their young children to at home and in restaurants. "Repeated exposure builds taste preferences."

Cornwell and co-author Anna R. McAlister, a consumer science researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, involved both developmental psychology and marketing for the two-part study. It appeared online in January ahead of regular publication in the journal Appetite.

In the first experiment, 67 children (31 boys, 36 girls) and their mothers were recruited from pre-school classes in a large city. The mothers completed a 21-item survey to report on their taste preferences of their children. The children responded to their perceived tastiness of 11 natural and 11 flavor-added foods. The photos of the foods were presented without labeling or packaging. Researchers found strong agreement in that both parental and children's perceptions matched: Parents noted the desire for foods high in sugar, fat and salt, while their children showed preference for flavor-added foods, which contained these ingredients.

Foods well within the preschoolers' experience were presented in the experiment. Natural foods included apples, bananas, plain milk, fruit salad, water, green beans and tomatoes (strawberries and watermelon were the top picks; flavor-added foods included such things as cheese puffs, corn chips, watermelon hard candy, jellybeans, banana soft candy, ketchup, colas and chocolate milk (strawberry ice cream and jellybeans scored the highest).

In the second experiment, researchers explored the association of preschoolers' palate preferences to their emerging awareness of brands of fast foods and sugar-sweetened beverages. Participating were 108 children (54 boys, 54 girls) from five urban pre-schools. Each child was shown 36 randomly sorted cards -- 12 related to each of two popular fast-food chains, six to each of the two leading cola companies and six depicting irrelevant products. All children were able to correctly place some of the product cards with the correct companies, indicating their differing levels of brand recognition.

The results, the researcher wrote, "suggest that fast food and soda brand knowledge is linked to the development of a preference for sugar, fat and salt in food." The relationships, they added, appeared to reflect the children's emotional experiences in a way that says the brand-named products deliver their developed taste preferences.

It may well be, Cornwall said, that when parents repeatedly serve certain foods, their children acquire a taste for them and soon recognized what brands deliver that taste. Earlier research has shown that children given red peppers on 10 different occasions will acquire a taste for red peppers and that logic extends to other foods. Children served French fries will, in turn, develop a preference for French fries.

Fighting childhood obesity, Cornwell says, should begin at home. First, families should focus on reducing the consumption of low-nutrient "junk" foods and replacing them with increased servings of healthy foods. Such an approach, the researchers noted in their conclusion, moves away from issues of weight and dieting -- instead targeting the development of tastes preferences.

In a previous paper in the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, Cornwell and McAlister found that children begin to understand persuasion as early as age three and most develop this sense by age six. They argued that advertising targeting children should be monitored and regulated.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jim Barlow
jebarlow@uoregon.edu
541-346-3481
University of Oregon
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Motor Skills Lag in Poor Preschoolers
2. Preschools: Apply Now for the “Green Your School Grant” from Episencial
3. Preschool depression: The importance of early detection of depression in young children
4. Pediatricians can help parents recognize overweight preschoolers
5. Lifestyle intervention reduces preschoolers body fat, improves fitness
6. Study shows a possible link between preschoolers cavities and excess body fat
7. New study suggests most preschool-age children exceed daily screen time recommendations
8. U.S. Preschoolers Getting Too Much Screen Time: Study
9. Poor Children Get Biggest Literacy Boost From Preschool
10. Front of Food Labels Should Focus on Calories, Salt, Fats: Report
11. Bilberry Seems to Act Against Blood Sugar
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Preschool kids know what they like: Salt, sugar and fat
(Date:1/18/2017)... DOVER, DELAWARE (PRWEB) , ... January 18, 2017 , ... ... - 12 in St. Louis, Missouri. , Dickerson, of Laurel, farms about a thousand ... edamame, string beans, yellow squash on contract and pumpkins and other vegetables for the ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... ... January 18, 2017 , ... The VA Maryland Health ... on a research project focused on multiple sclerosis (MS). Led by Christopher M. ... to control the disease without compromising normal immune function that often occurs during ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... ... ... The V Foundation for Cancer Research, a top-rated cancer research charity, announced today ... compete in the Boston Marathon on April 17. From first-time participants to accomplished ... to join Team V and support the Foundation’s mission to declare victory over cancer. ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... Silver Spring, MD (PRWEB) , ... January 18, 2017 , ... ... and financial consultations to families and business owners in central Maryland and the DC ... community. , Heart disease kills 787,000 people nationally every year, making it the #1 ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... VA (PRWEB) , ... January 18, 2017 , ... Dr. ... in family, cosmetic and implants dentistry. His modern dental practice has two convenient office ... as a 2017 Top Rated Dentist for the Alexandria area. This award ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/18/2017)... , Jan. 18, 2017 Invetech, the ... cell and advanced therapies , has announced a ... company developing "tumor starvation" treatments for acute leukemia ... Under the agreement, Invetech will develop systems to ... Erytech,s proprietary ERYCAPS technology platform, which uses a ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... , January 18, 2017 After the ... regarding the use of cannabis both for medical and recreational ... more Americans open to the use of cannabis, but the ... According to Arcview Market Research, the North American legal cannabis ... from the previous year. The research projects sales will grow ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... Jan. 17, 2017 North America Insulin Delivery ... report, "North America Insulin Delivery Market Outlook to 2022", ... Delivery market. The report provides value, in millions of ... within market segments - Insulin Pens, Insulin Pumps, Insulin ... also provides company shares and distribution shares data for ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: