It is but obvious that children are widely influenced by the things they watch in the media. Be it violent video games or a certain sense of clothing, media now has complete control over how our children behave. Certain shows and videos inculcate peculiar values and interests in people not only in children. Taking this thought into mind, a study was published in the ‘Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior’. This study showed that children watching healthy cooking shows adopted healthy food choices in their life 2.7 times more than those children who watch cooking shows featuring unhealthy foods.
In this study, researchers analyzed 125 children aged 10 years to 12 years, among which 46 watched the healthy cooking program, 35 watched the unhealthy cooking program and 44 watched the control program. Parental consent was obtained across five different schools in the Netherlands by the researchers. The process of the study was that the participant children were shown 10 minutes of a kids’ television cooking program featuring either healthy foods, unhealthy foods or a control program and then asked to choose either a healthy snack – apple or pieces of cucumber or an unhealthy snack – a handful of chips or salted mini-pretzels.
41.3% of children watching healthy cooking shows chose healthy snacks, and just 22.7% of the children in the control group and 20% of the children who viewed the unhealthy program chose a healthy snack. It was keenly observed that children who watched the healthy cooking program had a higher probability of selecting healthy food than children who watched the unhealthy program or control program.
Ellen S. Rome, MD, MPH advised that Exposure to nutritious food can be a perfect way to widen youth food choices and combat childhood obesity, while at the same time educating young people about balance. Pediatrists may help parents and children find the right balance between healthy eating and excessive healthy eating, use multiple forms of media to strengthen these messages by approaches that are filled with positive youth development.