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Nature's One(R): Branding Influences Food Choices of Children

September 11, 2012 - Columbus, OH

Products geared toward children have long borne bright colors and cartoon characters. The Cornell Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Program recently studied the effects that such marketing tactics have on kids' dietary choices. Published in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, the study, which was reported by Reuters, reveals that children are more likely to choose an apple if it bears a cartoon sticker. Nature's One, the leader in organic pediatric nutrition, believes that the findings of the study indicate that parents need to talk to their kids about marketing tactics to help them make healthier dietary choices.

Reuters reports that the study analyzed the decisions of 208 kids between the ages of 8 and 11. The kids were offered an apple, a cookie, or both during lunch at school. Researchers stuck cartoon stickers on the snacks, adhering them to different snacks on different days. The results show that, without any marketing, fewer than 25 percent of students chose the apple. However, on days when an Elmo sticker was affixed to the fruit, 37 percent of students chose the healthier option.

"Parents should consider starting a dialogue with their kids about how advertising works," says Nature's One Marketing Director Karla Highman. "Marketers are well-aware that kids are much more likely to be drawn to a cartoon character than to a plain package, so parents need to explain this tactic to their children in an effort to improve food choices. Learning to think for themselves will serve kids well, especially as they get older and are subject to messages about food, beauty, and body image, to name a few."

The natural and organic food industry has come a long way regarding fun and attractive packaging. "Our once green and tan designs have sprung alive with colorful and appealing images that attract both kids and grown-ups. Why not dress up fresh fruits and vegetables with cartoon characters to entice children to select healthy options over highly processed junk foods?" asserts Highman. "As a mother, what concerns me more are the artificial colors used to draw kids into demanding 'fun' foods. It's impossible for organic food manufacturers to replicate natural versions of the neon coloring used in conventional kids' beverages, candies, and foods. I cringe knowing how food dyes can negatively impact a child's health, behavior, and ability to learn."

About Nature's One:

Founded in 1997, Nature's One is the leader in the organic pediatric nutrition industry. Highly regarded for its Baby's Only Organic® Formulas, Baby's Only Essentials® Supplements, PediaSmart® Organic Complete Nutrition Beverages, and PediaVance® Organic Electrolyte Solution brands, Nature's One has spent over 15 years dedicating its resources to the research, development, and production of high quality nutritional solutions for infants and children.


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