Savvy marketing gets school kids to snap up veggies

Tuesday, July 5th 2016, 11:09 am PDT
By Amy Norton
HealthDay Reporter TUESDAY, July 5, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- While clever marketing can steer kids towards junk food, a new study shows that creative advertising can also prompt more kids to eat veggies.
The tactic the researchers used was simple and inexpensive: They placed banners around school cafeteria salad bars that featured animated characters dubbed the Super Sprowtz -- with a cast including Miki Mushroom, Zach Zucchini and Suzie Sweet Pea. Some schools also played videos of the characters.
Over four weeks, the study found, the marketing effort paid off. The number of children who took vegetables from school salad bars doubled or tripled.
"It's no secret that marketing works," said study leader Andrew Hanks, an assistant professor at Ohio State University in Columbus. "But this shows it can also be used to encourage children to make healthy choices."
Hanks, who was at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., during the study, reported the findings online July 5 in the journal Pediatrics...