Thursday, August 26, 2010

Popeye Gets Kids to Eat Their Veggies

Source: The Economic Times (Summary by NIM)

Not too long ago, we wrote about the power that cartoon characters have over kids, especially when it comes to consuming junk food. Thankfully, though, according to new research, there are some 'healthy food heroes' that actually get kids to eat - and like - their veggies. Even the green slimy ones.

Enter: Popeye. For decades, this guy has been gobbling down spinach - not too many people's favourite vegetable - and loving it. It makes total sense; spinach turns him into something of a superhero - not the conventional kind, but he fights off the bad guys and gets the girl in the end. And since it's one of nature's superfoods, it can turn your kids (and you!) into superheroes too. An interesting metaphor, but good health is funny like that. Confidence, strength and energy don't go unnoticed.

Popeye is so influential, in fact, that back in the 1930s, he was actually credited with saving the US spinach industry! And according to the study published in journal Nutrition & Dietetics, kids who watched episodes of Popeye before eating their spinach ended up eating twice as much of it as the kids who didn't see the show. Sometimes kids just need a little encouragement (and incentive?) when it comes to eating stuff that they think looks totally gross.

Read more at the Economic Times (Aug 9, 2010) in the article called "Thanks to Popeye, kids eat more vegetables".