If Only Junk Food Were Good for You

Sure, kids gorge on junk food. But at least they feel bad about it, as you can gather from the chart below. The numbers come from a poll by The Geppetto Group among kids age 8-10. The research also detects mixed feelings toward healthy foods, with boys more likely than girls to look askance at them. For instance, 65 percent of girls—vs. 46 percent of boys—subscribed to the statement, “Lots of foods that are good for you are also fun to eat.” Boys were more likely than girls (47 percent vs. 31 percent) to say, “Only a few foods that are good for you are fun to eat.” The poll asked kids whether they “like it better when a food is plain or has something on it, like butter, gravy or cheese.” Boys were more likely than girls to opt for “plain” (27 percent vs. 18 percent) and correspondingly less likely to want “something on it” (73 percent vs. 82 percent). Finally, readers will be proud to learn that advertising is a stronger motivating force than boredom. Forty percent of the kids said they sometimes eat a particular food “because I saw a commercial on TV and it made me want it,” while a mere 39 percent said they sometimes eat “because I’m bored.” Fewer said they eat because they’re “sad or upset” (7 percent).