The Trentonian's Strange But True Page

Monday, August 6, 2007

Same food in McDonald's wrapper tastes better; just ask your 3-year-old

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Preschoolers preferred the taste of burgers and fries when they came in McDonald's wrappers over the same food in plain wrapping, U.S. researchers said, suggesting fast-food marketing reaches the very young.
"Overwhelmingly, kids chose the one that they perceived was from McDonald's," said obesity prevention expert Dr. Thomas Robinson of the Stanford University School of Medicine, whose work appears in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.About 22 percent of the kids chose food in the plain wrappers while 18 percent said the food tasted the same or were unable to complete the experiment.
"It ranged from 48 percent who chose the hamburger up to over 70 percent who chose French fries as tasting better if they thought they were from McDonald's," he said.
"Even for baby carrots, kids said the carrots they thought were from McDonald's tasted better," Robinson said.
The same was true of milk.
He said the study supports efforts to ban or regulate advertising or marketing of high-calorie, low-nutrient foods and beverages directed to young children.
A McDonald's Corp. spokesman said the company has been working to address the need for responsible marketing to kids and providing healthy food choices.
"McDonald's is only advertising Happy Meals with white meat McNuggets, fresh apple slices and low-fat milk, a right-sized meal of only 375 calories," said spokesman Walt Riker, in a statement e-mailed to Reuters.
"Our recent program with 'Shrek' was our biggest-ever promotion of fruits, vegetables and milk, another indication of our progressive approach to responsible marketing," he said.


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