Influence of food companies' brand mascots and entertainment companies' cartoon media characters on children's diet and health: a systematic review and research needs.
Bottom Line: Results suggest that cartoon media character branding can positively increase children's fruit or vegetable intake compared with no character branding.However, familiar media character branding is a more powerful influence on children's food preferences, choices and intake, especially for energy-dense and nutrient-poor foods (e.g. cookies, candy or chocolate) compared with fruits or vegetables.Future research can be used to inform the deliberations of policymakers, practitioners and advocates regarding how media character marketing should be used to support healthy food environments for children.
Affiliation: Department of Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise, Virginia Tech (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University), Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus
Mentions: Figure 1 provides examples of more than 40 brand mascots used by 15 food and restaurant companies (58–72) that participate in the US Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI) (73). The figure is based on an extensive search of published articles, industry trade literature, books (53–55) and companies' websites. The figure does not include mascots owned by companies that do not voluntarily participate in the CFBAI, such as Chuck E. Cheese's Mr. Cheese Mouse (33). Figure 2 provides examples of more than 55 cartoon media characters that are owned and licensed by five major entertainment and media companies (74–78) to promote food products to children. The figure is based on characters identified through several resources (33,46) supplemented by an extensive search of companies' websites.
Affiliation: Department of Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise, Virginia Tech (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University), Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.