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J Nutr Educ Behav. 2011 Jan-Feb;43(1):35-41. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2009.11.007. Epub 2010 Sep 18.

Impact of commercials on food preferences of low-income, minority preschoolers.

Author information

1
Children's Nutrition Research Center, Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030-2600, USA. tnicklas@bcm.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine whether fruit and vegetable (FV) commercials have an impact on preschool children's preferences for specific FV.

DESIGN:

A year of extensive formative assessment was conducted to develop 2 30-second commercials: "Judy Fruity" promoted apples and bananas and "Reggie Veggie" promoted broccoli and carrots. The commercials were embedded into a 15-minute TV program. Fruit and vegetable preferences were assessed before and after 4 exposures to each of the commercials.

SETTING:

Four Head Start centers in Houston, Texas.

PARTICIPANTS:

One hundred eighty-three preschool children (39% African American; 61% Hispanic American).

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Assessment of whether FV preferences were significantly higher in the treatment group than the control group, controlling for baseline FV preferences, age, race, and intervention dose in the model.

ANALYSIS:

A general linear model was used.

RESULTS:

There was a significantly higher preference for broccoli and carrots (P = .02) in the intervention group compared to the control group after multiple exposures to the vegetable commercial.

CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS:

Data suggest that commercials promoting vegetables may be an effective strategy to influence young children's preferences for vegetables. This may not be the case with fruit preferences, which are already high in this age group.

PMID:
20851053
PMCID:
PMC3018529
DOI:
10.1016/j.jneb.2009.11.007
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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