What Would Batman Eat? Priming Children to Make Healthier Fast Food Choices

Pediatric Obesity, 7:2,121-123, 2012

9 Pages Posted: 15 Jan 2016

See all articles by Brian Wansink

Brian Wansink

Retired

Mitsuru Shimizu

Southern Illinois University - Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville

Guido Camps

Wageningen UR

Date Written: May 21, 2011

Abstract

Fast food patronage is a frequent reality for many children and their parents. Although there are increasingly healthier options being offered as alternatives for regular menu items (apple slices instead of French fries), they are seldom selected by the children. We investigated whether either of two priming tactics – the priming of a role model’s food choices or the priming of healthy foods – could influence 22 children (ranging in age from 6 to 12 years, with a mean of 8.5) to make healthier fast food choices. When children were asked what various admirable people would eat, 45% of them chose apple slices over French fries, which was significantly higher than the health prime (p< .001) or the control condition (p< .001). Advising a parent to ask their child “What would Batman eat?” might be an easy step to take in what could be a healthier fast food world.

Keywords: Nutrition, food choice, fast food, primes, priming, food intake, childhood obesity, pediatrics, behavior change, mcdonalds, junk food, healthy choices, parents

Suggested Citation

Wansink, Brian and Shimizu, Mitsuru and Camps, Guido, What Would Batman Eat? Priming Children to Make Healthier Fast Food Choices (May 21, 2011). Pediatric Obesity, 7:2,121-123, 2012, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2715094

Brian Wansink (Contact Author)

Retired ( email )

607-319-0123 (Phone)

Mitsuru Shimizu

Southern Illinois University - Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville ( email )

1 Hairpin Drive
Edwardsville, IL 62026-1102
United States

Guido Camps

Wageningen UR ( email )

Hollandseweg 1
Wageningen, 6706KN
Netherlands

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