-- Robert Preidt
THURSDAY, Jan. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Most preschool children
develop a taste for salt, sugar and fat at home, and quickly learn
which types of brand-name fast foods and sodas meet these
preferences, U.S. researchers say.
In one experiment, the mothers of 67 children, aged 3 to 5, were
asked to list their youngsters' taste preferences and listed foods
high in sugar, fat and salt. The researchers tested the children
and found that the parents' answers were accurate.
In a second experiment, the researchers looked at the
association between the taste preferences of 108 preschool children
and their emerging awareness of brands of fast food and
The children were shown 36 randomly sorted product cards -- 12
related to each of two popular fast-food chains, six related to
each of the two leading cola companies, and six depicting
non-related products. All of the children were able to place some
of the product cards with the correct companies, which demonstrated
that they recognized these brands.
The results "suggest that fast food and soda brand knowledge is
linked to the development of a preference for sugar, fat and salt
in food," the researchers reported.
Parents need to carefully consider the types of foods they give
to young children at home and in restaurants, said study co-author
T. Bettina Cornwell, a professor of marketing at the University of
Oregon Lundquist College of Business.
"Repeated exposure builds taste preferences," she said in a university news release.
The study findings were released online ahead of publication in
an upcoming print issue of the journal
The American Academy of Pediatrics has more about
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