Cut your kids` food to make them behave better

Last Updated: Wednesday, April 23, 2014 - 09:59

Washington: When 6-10 year old children ate foods they had to bite with their front teeth - like drumsticks, whole apples, or corn on the cob - they were rowdier than when these foods had been cut, a new study has suggested.

Brian Wansink, Professor and Director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab, said the kids were twice as likely to disobey adults and twice as aggressive toward other kids.

During a 4-H summer camp, 12 elementary children were observed for this 2-day study.

On the first day, half of the children were seated at one picnic table and were given chicken on the bone that had to be bitten into with their front teeth; the other half were seated at a nearby picnic table and given chicken cut into bite sized pieces. On the second day, the conditions were reversed.

Each day, two camp counselors instructed the children to stay inside a circle with a 9-foot radius. Both meal sessions were videotaped and evaluated by trained coders who indicated how aggressive or compliant the children were, and if they exhibited any atypical behaviors, such as jumping and standing on the picnic tables.

Results from both the counselors and coders observations indicated that when children were served chicken on the bone, they acted twice as aggressively, and were twice as likely to disobey adults, than when they were served bite sized pieces of chicken.

Furthermore, the children who were served chicken on the bone left the circle without permission more frequently and were more likely to jump and stand on the picnic tables.

The new study has been published in journal Eating Behaviors .  


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First Published: Wednesday, April 23, 2014 - 09:59

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