Tony the Tiger, Toucan Sam and Snap, Crackle and Pop aren't going anywhere.
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania tested the influence of marketing on children, and discovered what we moms already knew -- getting kids to eat healthy isn't a snap!
Eighty kids between the ages of 4 and 6 were given one box of a "new" cereal. Some boxes had cartoon characters from the movie "Happy Feet" and some did not. The cereal in all the boxes was the same -- from a health food store.
As expected, the kids who received a box with "Happy Feet's" Mumble and Gloria rated the cereal higher than those who received a plain box. Researchers also found kids responded differently to cereal names. Of the plain boxes named "Healthy Bits" or "Sugar Bits" -- more children rated "Healthy Bits" as tasting better.
"When there was a character on the box, they liked the cereal a lot, and it didn't matter what the name of the cereal was," says Sarah Vaala, one of the lead authors of the study. "Once you put a character on the box, that overrides their judgment of the health merits of the food."
Momlogic wants to know -- do your kids eat cereal? Does their favorite cereal have a cartoon character on the box?