Neat study just published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. Conducted by researchers at the Pennington Biomedical Center in Baton Rouge, LA, findings revealed the potential influence of video-based veggie promotion on veggie consumption.
42 children ages 3-5 were randomly selected to view either: short (7.5 minute) video segments of their peers eating veggies (bell peppers), video segments without food, or no video at all. Interestingly, the children who watched their peers eat bell peppers ended up consuming them in greater numbers. But the change was not immediate - it took about 7 days for bell pepper consumption to increase (16g vs 6g) with no change observed after just 1-2 days. These same kids also expressed greater preference for repeated consumption of bell peppers.
So while we know screen time isn't ideal for this young age group, perhaps fruit and veggie promotion through these channels can have a lasting benefit.
It also reveals other not insignificant points - if the power of these short videos is so great, can we then infer the power of food advertising to kids. Would be interesting to know if the converse - peers eating junk food - has a similar effect. And would be nice to know if this same effect could be achieved without screens at all. Can healthy food modeling behavior in school, among peers and teachers, affect lasting change? If a screen leads to this significant increase in veggie consumption, what would happen if the influence was face-to-face? And what about other veggies?
Lots of questions, lots of promise.