Monday, August 13, 2012

Key to fighting child obesity: Light sabers

It’s official: Nothing prods kids to healthier menu choices like a light saber can.

A Canadian researcher said as much after discovering that youngsters will buy a healthier fast-food meal if that’s the only way to get a replica of Luke Skywalker’s favored weapon or some other toy.   Take two meals that differ in calories and fat content, bundle each with the same toy, and offer it to youngsters ranging from 6 to 12-years-old.  The researchers discovered that only one in five children will opt for the choice that Mom and Dad favor.

Take the toy out of the less-healthful meal and put the same choice to them, and the percentage opting for the lower-calorie/lower-fat meal more than doubles, to 40%.

The study was conducted at a YMCA camp last summer by the University of Waterloo in Ontario.

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