Influence of Screen-Based Peer Modeling on Preschool Children's Vegetable Consumption and Preferences

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Abstract

Objective:

To determine the influence of screen-based peer modeling on children's vegetable consumption and preference.

Methods:

A total of 42 children aged 3–5 years were randomly assigned to view individually a video segment of peers consuming a modeled vegetable (bell pepper), vs a nonfood video segment or no video. Analysis of covariance models examined bell pepper preference and consumption during initial video exposure (day 1) and without video exposure (days 2 and 7), adjusted for age, sex, body mass index, and initial bell pepper consumption.

Results:

Children in the vegetable condition ate more bell peppers (15.5 g) than did those in the control condition (5.9 g; P = .04; model η2 = 0.85) on day 7, with no differences on days 1 or 2. Among children who ate the modeled vegetable, those in the vegetable DVD condition reported greater preference for eating the vegetable again (P = .01).

Conclusions and Implications:

Screen-based peer modeling is a promising tool to influence children's vegetable consumption.

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