Studies show that children prefer natural foods over processed foods


EDINBURGH: According to a study, children rate foods they believe to be natural as having more taste, safety and desirability than foods that are manufactured.
The tendency among adults to prefer natural foods is well documented, researchers say. However, recent findings show that this food bias also exists in early and middle childhood.
Researchers at Edinburgh Universities And Yale studied the preferences of more than 374 adults and children United States When presented with apple and orange juice and told about their origins.
In one study, 137 children between the ages of six and 10 were shown three apples. They were told that one was grown in a field, one was made in a lab, and the other was grown on a tree inside a lab.
The team used questionnaires and statistical models to assess children’s apple preferences. Adults participated in the same study to compare age groups.
The researchers found that both children and adults believed that apples grown in farms were grown in laboratories.
Children were more likely to refer to freshness, being outdoors, or sunshine when they chose farm apples. Adults were more likely to mention naturalism.
In another study, a group of 85 children aged five to seven and 64 adults were shown four different types of orange juice – one described as farm-squeezed, one with no information about it, one said to have had chemicals removed, and One is described as adding chemicals.
The researchers found that information on the naturalness of the interest had a significant effect on its ratings. Participants were attracted to a more natural alternative based on perceived taste, safety, and willingness to consume.
Both studies showed that age had little effect on outcome, with five-year-olds and ten-year-olds responding similarly.
The researchers say the findings suggest that the belief that natural foods are good can be established as early as age five — and perhaps even younger.
Dr Mattie WilkesThe University of Edinburgh’s School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences said: “Overall we provide evidence that, at least in the United States, our tendency to prefer natural foods is present in childhood. This research provides a first step towards understanding. These preferences How they are formed, including whether they are socially learned and what drives our tendency to prefer natural things.”

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