Lower food consumption
Researchers found that remembering meals, being more aware and paying added attention to meals results in lower food consumption and could help with weight loss programs. Dr Eric Robinson, from the Institute of Psychology, Health and Society, said in the March 18, 2013 news release, Food memories can help with weight loss, “Our research found that if people recalled their last meal as being filling and satisfying then they ate less during their next meal."
This could be developed as a new strategy to help with weight loss and maintenance and reduce the need for calorie controlled dieting. “However, while techniques which remind you of what you have eaten reduce food consumption, some practical strategies to put these findings into practice need to be further developed. Also, the studies we analyzed looked at adults with healthy body mass index so additional work is needed to find out how this might affect people who are overweight.”
Distractions lead to increased consumption
The research also identified that being distracted when eating a meal leads to increased consumption of the immediate meal but has even more of an effect on later eating. Distractions, which include watching television, listening to the radio or music or reading a newspaper at the dinner table, impede a person’s awareness of the food they are eating and results in over-consumption. The research is published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Also check out the article, "Celebrity endorsement encourages children to eat junk food." According to that article, in another study by the University of Liverpool, researchers found that celebrity endorsement of a food product encourages children to eat more of the endorsed product. It also found that children were prompted to eat more of the endorsed product when they saw the celebrity on TV in a different context.
What happens when celebrities endorse any food or product is that the endorsement creates value, credibility, and recognition of that product or food
Celebrity endorsement promotes a particular brand. That's why celebrities are frequently used in television advertising to induce children to try foods. One European example mentioned in the article, "Celebrity endorsement encourages children to eat junk food" noted that when a world-famous soccer player who became a TV sports presenter endorsed a food product in Europe called Walker’s Crisps since 1995, children at more of that food.
Researchers studied the trend of celebrities endorsing various foods. The latest study involved 181 children, aged between 8 and 11 years old, who were asked to watch one of three different adverts or general TV footage (Match of the Day) featuring Gary Lineker as the main presenter, embedded within a 20-minute cartoon. The advertisements were for Walkers crisps (featuring Gary Lineker as a celebrity endorser), and a different snack food or a toy product.
The children were offered two bowls of crisps to eat, one labeled `Walkers’ and one labeled `Supermarket’ (generic brand) although both bowls actually contained Walkers crisps. The amount of crisps consumed from each bowl by each child was then measured.
The study found that although both bowls contained Walkers crisps, after watching the Gary Lineker advert or the general TV footage of Gary Lineker, the children ate considerably more of the Walkers crisps than the children who watched the other snack food advertisement or the toy advertisement. The study showed how much celebrities can influence children's food choices.
You can see how powerful celebrity endorsement is of a product, whether it's a food, clothing item, or even medicine. Check out the site of the Institute of Psychology, Health and Society. Advertising executives know the power of celebrity endorsement in TV advertising and a non-food context.
The question now is why do kids choose the endorsed snack product over the same product offered as a non-branded snack item? When both contain the same product, the power of endorsement can seem to change the taste.
The study showed how much celebrities influence a product when they endorse it. The kids ate more of the endorsed product even when they saw the celebrity outside of a situation where the brand was promoted again.
It gives a number to measure the influence and power that celebrities have over what kids choose as their brand to eat more of when given a choice. Interestingly, the brand endorsed by the celebrity and the generalized, generic 'supermarket' brand both contained the exact same product from the same manufacturer, and the taste in reality would be the same. Children’s brand preferences can influence actual consumption, if the celebrity endorses the product and kids value the celebrity's endorsement.
If kids don't value the celebrity, they may not follow what the star endorses
The research shows how particular popular sports stars and other celebrities held in high esteem or seen as powerful winners can influence what children choose to eat, even if the product contains food that's not healthy for children. The kids disconnect from the ingredients in the food product. Kids may not connect health consequences in the long term with what they eat at the moment. There's also a feeling of invincibility when a child is feeling well and young enough not to dwell on the long-term future.
Children aren't reading labels to see how much or what kinds of fats, oils, transfats, sugar, or salt is in a snack or other food product. Kids choose foods if a valued celebrity endorses the food. Researchers also surmise that celebrity endorsement of so-called "junk-foods" of any given type opens the possibility that unhealthy food can be advertised to children if a very famous celebrity or sports star endorses the food as appropriate for children. You can check out the research in The Journal of Pediatrics.
There are celebrities who endorse healthy foods for children. And there needs to be celebrities who endorse the foods that most kids won't eat just because they're extra healthy. But it's important that the celebrity who endorses any particular food be held in high esteem by kids. Children want to identify with the powerful winner and the popular.