January 7, 2020
Glowing screens are a powerful influence on children — possibly even more so than parents and school.
This shocking new study suggests that using these devices to promote positive stuff instead of detrimental junk appears to have an overall positive effect on the minds of the young ones.
Literally no one could have predicted this.
Children are more likely to snack on an apple or cucumber instead of crisps after watching a healthy cooking TV show, a study suggests.
Dutch researchers asked youngsters aged 10 to 12 to watch a cooking programme before they let them choose from a tray of snacks.
Results suggested the choices of the youngsters depended on whether they had seen junk or healthy food on TV.
Twice as many children who watched the healthy show opted for a healthy snack, compared to those who saw junk food on their screen.
Experts said programmes which teach how to cook dishes from scratch – such as Saturday Kitchen or The Big Family Cooking Showdown – could halt child obesity and drill into youngsters the importance of healthy eating in adulthood.
It is known that if a child is overweight, they are more likely to stay that way through their life and put themselves at risk of diseases such as diabetes.
In other words, what glowing screens show to kids makes an incredible difference in their behavior.
Considering what television shows, it is pretty safe to assert that television was a mistake.
Imagine willingly paying for a device that allows strangers and salesmen to enter your house and tell you whatever they want to tell you while you’re having a meal and relaxing.
That has to be one of the worst deals ever devised.
Then imagine going to the movies and paying the people who want to brainwash you because the system they made for you to live in is designed to bore you to death.
Entertainment was also a mistake.
Children who watched the healthy program were 2.7 times more likely to choose one of the healthy snacks options.
Only 20 per cent of children who watched the unhealthy TV show wanted to eat the apple or cucumber.
In comparison, the rate was 41 per cent in the healthy TV show group. Results were published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.
The control group chose a healthy snack 22 per cent of the time – a similar amount as the children in the unhealthy TV show group.
This suggests that seeing fruit and vegetables on TV can actually induce cravings for healthier foods.
That’s a very significant difference that turns even more significant after imagining the cumulative effect that watching a certain message over an extended period of time could have.
The study only showed kids a small 10-minute segment of a healthy TV show.
Lead author Dr Frans Folkvord said: ‘The findings from this study indicate cooking programs can be a promising tool for promoting positive changes in children’s food-related preferences, attitudes, and behaviours.
‘Providing nutritional education in school environments instead may have an important positive influence on the knowledge, attitudes, skills, and behaviours of children.’
The researchers argued teaching children how to prepare and cook – especially with fruit and veg – can improve their diet.
They added that learning these skills from a young age will be useful as they go into adulthood because good habits will be drilled into them.
The least that could be done in a system where companies can make a fortune selling addictive edibles is to give kids the tools and information they need in order to be able to make healthier choices and resist the pull of advertisement.
But that would be bad for business.