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Appetite. 2010 Jun;54(3):599-602. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2010.02.012. Epub 2010 Feb 20.

How to promote fruit consumption in children. Visual appeal versus restriction.

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Maastricht University, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience, Department of Clinical Psychological Science, P.O. Box 616, 6200 MD, Maastricht, The Netherlands.


The prevalence of overweight is increasing dramatically in children. A protective factor against the development of overweight is a sufficient intake of fruit and vegetables. However, the consumption of fruit and vegetables in children is far from ideal these days. Therefore, it is important to examine how the intake of fruit and vegetables can be promoted. In this study, the effects of two fruit promoting techniques were evaluated in 4-7-year-old children: presenting fruit in a more visually appealing manner versus restricting the intake of fruit. Two presentations of fruit (regular and visually appealing) were offered to the participants. In a first taste session participants were either allowed to eat from both fruit presentations (no-prohibition group) or prohibited from eating one of the two presentations (regular fruit prohibited group/visually appealing fruit prohibited group). In a second taste session all participants were allowed to eat from both fruit presentations. The results indicated that visual appeal had a strong effect on consumption of the fruit. With respect to restriction, no effects were found. Parents, schools, supermarkets and food producers should take advantage of these results, and offer children fruit and vegetables that are presented in a visually appealing manner.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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