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ARS Home » Plains Area » Houston, Texas » Children's Nutrition Research Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #234887

Title: The impact of television commercials on food preferences of preschoolers

item Nicklas, Theresa
item Tsuei-goh, Eugenia
item Goodell, Lora
item Acuff, Daniel
item Reiher, Robert
item Buday, Richard
item Ottenbacher, Allison

Submitted to: Journal Of The American Dietetic Association
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/1/2008
Publication Date: 9/1/2008
Citation: Nicklas, T.A., Tsuei-Goh, E., Goodell, L., Acuff, D.S., Reiher, R., Buday, R., Ottenbacher, A. 2008. The impact of television commercials on food preferences of preschoolers [abstract]. Journal Of The American Dietetic Association. 108(9):A112.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The objective is to determine if fruit and vegetable (FV) commercials have an impact on preschool children's preferences for specific FV. A year of extensive formative assessment was conducted to develop two 30-second commercials; Judy Fruity promoted apples and bananas and Reggie Veggie promoted broccoli and carrots. The commercials were embedded into a 15-minute TV program. FV preferences were assessed before and after four exposures to each of the commercials. Subjects wre 183 preschool children (39% AA; 61% HA) from four Head Start centers in Houston, Texas. A general linear model was used to assess whether FV preferences were significantly higher in the treatment group than the control group, controlling for baseline FV preferences, age, race, and intervention dose in the model. Compared to control children, there was a significantly higher preference for broccoli and carrots (p = 0.02) in the intervention group after multiple exposures to the V commercial. Data suggest that commercials promoting vegetables may be an effective strategy to influence young children's preferences for vegetables. This may not be the case with fruit preferences which are already high in this age group.