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Kids Who Watch Popeye Cartoons Eat More Vegetables 119

markmark57 writes "Popeye cartoons, tasting parties and junior cooking classes can help increase vegetable intake in kindergarten children, according to new research published in the journal Nutrition & Dietetics. Researchers at Mahidol University in Bangkok found the type and amount of vegetables children ate improved after they took part in a program using multimedia and role models to promote healthy food. Twenty six kindergarten children aged four to five participated in the eight-week study. The researchers recorded the kinds and amounts of fruit and vegetables eaten by the children before and after the program."
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Kids Who Watch Popeye Cartoons Eat More Vegetables

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  • Cookie Monster was my fav

  • Fight more giant bio-mechanical robots?
  • Huh (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sanctimonius hypocrt ( 235536 ) on Monday August 09, 2010 @03:38PM (#33193806) Homepage Journal
    And yet kids who watch violent movies aren't more violent. Weird, eh?
    • These are kindergarteners. No one ever said you should put a 5 year old in front of GTA4 for 3 hours a day and not expect any personality changes.

      • I'm betting a military establishment somewhere has done something similar that with similar expectations...

      • These are kindergarteners. No one ever said you should put a 5 year old in front of GTA4 for 3 hours a day and not expect any personality changes.

        Karate Kid came out when I was in first grade. For a few weeks everybody on the playground was attempting swan-kicks and buying up books on karate. However, nobody I knew was suspended for fighting during that time.

        • The Karate Kid also promoted responsible behavior over being a jerk. Furthermore, that movie came out in a time when the adults were substantially less sensitive, and law suits not nearly so much of a concern. The same behavior now, might be handled quite a bit more harshly.

      • I wouldn't be too worried. I don't think many kindergarteners are physically capable of carjacking.
      • by geekoid ( 135745 )

        Nice logical fallacy their.

        However, even 'age appropriate' cartoons with violence will have children mimicking the violent behavior.

        A child's personality if developing, so everything impacts it to some degree.

        Of course thats dwarfed be kids getting martial arts lessons 'for their health'.

    • Recent research in the UK shows that agression (as measured by EEG activity) is triggered most during driving games, and least during first person shooters. The theory for this is that emotional responses are only triggered by stimuli that match previous experiences which themselves have a history of emotional responses. Hence, driving games tap experience with driving, while shooting games do not have an analog (at least, for the general public).
  • Except... (Score:5, Informative)

    by The MAZZTer ( 911996 ) <<megazzt> <at> <gmail.com>> on Monday August 09, 2010 @03:38PM (#33193820) Homepage

    It was wrong. [toolbox.com]

    Watermelon has more iron in it than spinach, and I personally find it far more tasty.

    • Addendum: Not that getting kids to eat veggies is wrong, but I don't think they'd appreciate finding out that they never actually had to suffer through spinach, at least.
    • Isn't spinach good for you because of it's other vitamins and minerals? I was always of the "old wives' tale" notion that dark leafy greens were just more healthful.
      • by Kelbear ( 870538 )

        List of nutrition and benefits:
        http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=43 [whfoods.com]

        Recent research says that "phytosteroids" in spinach improves muscle growth but I consider any new research with big claims to be bullshit until enough time has passed for it to be vetted.

        In general, it really does have a lot of nutrition and a lot of flavor. If you've gotta eat your leafy greens, might as well down some tasty spinach. Raw is good. Cooking enables better digestion. I like to just wilt them a bit rat

    • I don't think that's true.

      I can not find any study the confirms that. Please cite a study with a source.

      If memory serves, the creator of Popeye choose Spinach for it's vitamin A, not Iron.

      I did some digging and turned this up:
      http://www.internetjournalofcriminology.com/Sutton_Spinach_Iron_and_Popeye_March_2010.pdf [internetjo...nology.com]

      it even has references and citations! unlike every single reference that claims there was a spinach error.

  • Pipes (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 09, 2010 @03:39PM (#33193846)

    Do they also smoke more pipes?

  • by HikingStick ( 878216 ) <z01riemerNO@SPAMhotmail.com> on Monday August 09, 2010 @03:40PM (#33193858)
    The children who watched the Popeye cartoons also started smoking pipes and settling disagreements with fistfights. The body image of underweight girls also improved, and they found themselves the preferred objects of affection at Valentine's Day observances and during class parties.
    • by hoggoth ( 414195 )

      And bullies couldn't remember if their names were 'Brutus' or 'Bluto'.

    • They also drop anvils on their friends from great heights who survive but with great indentations in their noggins and can stop on a dime after running over 100 miles an hour; and when they stop they quiver like door stops. Hmm... what other classic cartoon paradigms can we crowbar into this piece?
    • I've got some WWII Popeye cartoons; will my children call Germans 'Krauts' and Japanese 'Japs'?

    • ...settling disagreements with fistfights.

      I watched the DVDs of the very first Popeye episodes. The DVDs have a warning about non-PC content. In the first few episodes you see over the top offensive depictions of various ethnic and racial groups ending in the brutal beating of said groups by Popeye.

      It was like clockwork, one group per episode. The Betty Boop pilot had blacks, then the following episodes had Mexicans (slothful/drunk/knife carrying), then Native Americans (big nose, feathers, saying "how"),

  • ... I first learned the importance of washing behind my ears after an episode of The Dukes of Hazzard. Granted, I was 5 and probably would have learned it anyways... But nonetheless Boss Hogg's Mom was good for something.
  • When I was a wee lad, I loved spinach. Why? Because I watched a lot of Popeye cartoons on the marvelous wood-cabineted black and white television set in the living room. It didn't help my spindly forearms much, though.

  • I figured kids ate more burgers because wimpy always had a big plate of them....... http://kerryosborne.oracle-guy.com/files/2009/05/wimpy.jpg [oracle-guy.com]
    • That is known as the "Wimpy Paradox". Though some people I know promise to pay me tomorrow for some food to eat today, of course I never learn because I never get paid back.

  • An 1870 report in Germany listed the iron content of spinach with the decimal place one spot too far to the right, in truth the iron in spinach isn't much different from most other fruits and vegetables.
  • Has there been any significant reduction in children dropping anvils on each other since they censored all the violence out of the classic Bugs Bunny cartoons?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Nadaka ( 224565 )

      I would hope not. Anvils have an even higher iron content than spinach.

      • by mrjb ( 547783 )

        Anvils have an even higher iron content than spinach

        ...and they're best with just a bit of salt, pepper, garlic and nutmeg. Just let the main ingredient speak for itself!

        • salt, pepper, garlic and nutmeg

          One of those spices does not belong with the others.

          Although, it does go quite nicely with cinnamon, allspice, and cloves.

  • I strong to the finishk, cause I smoked me spinachk...
  • "They fights to the finach, cause they eats their spinach..." earning them detention for fighting, an "F" in Works and Plays Well With Others, and mandatory afterschool remedial English lessons. A-kuk-kuk-kuk-kuk-kuk!!
  • This just in: indoctrination really seems to work.

    Of course we don't call it indoctrination if there's no dissent. Everyone agrees that getting children to eat veggies is a Good Thing, so it's not indoctrination, it's something else. What's the difference between indoctrination and learning exactly, again...?

    • Indoctrination or marketing? Really about the same thing.

      Advertising does work on kids. I'll admit that when I was a kid, I not only WANTED to eat spinach, I wanted the Popeye brand spinach. I also wanted Peter Pan branded peanut butter, and Mickey Mouse Ice Cream bars.

      It's not like it was some idea that had been militaristically drilled in or anything. I'd seen both Popeye and Peter Pan (the old recorded theater version, not the Disney cartoon) maybe 2 times tops. They were just what my mind saw as co

    • IMO, indoctrination really is a loaded term, that implies there's a point behind exposing a child to an influence.

      It's not indoctrination unless the program is used for the purpose of changing behaviors and exposure is used as part of that program.

      All this study really proves is that kids like their minds stimulated. They need to do something they find potentially unpleasant, and find a way to associate it with something that they consider "uplifting" or positive. We all do this--and good thing, else there'

    • by sjames ( 1099 )

      Education provides knowledge and perhaps instruction in how to think. Indoctrination tells you WHAT to think, often in spite of any knowledge you might have and explicitly avoiding how to think (since that would lead to rejection of the indoctrination). The term indoctrination generally connotes a hidden agenda and that it is not in the best interests of the indoctrinated.

      With young children, sometimes you have to focus on what and fill in how and why later but that is due to their still limited capabilitie

    • by geekoid ( 135745 )

      On is unquestioning belief, the other is based on evidence.

      Telling kids they need to eat the veggies because god wants them too in indoctrination.. Informing them it has vitamins and mineral they need to be healthy is teaching.
      Or an even better examples is:
      It's indoctrination when you tell people spinach has 1/10th the iron do to a decimal error. It's teaching when you fact check and find out it's not true.

      http://www.internetjournalofcriminology.com/Sutton_Spinach_Iron_and_Popeye_March_2010.pdf [internetjo...nology.com]

      Nice try.

      • by macraig ( 621737 )

        I was merely pointing out that it's sometimes a rather fine line of distinction between the two, if the method/process is the same for both. I note a similar fine line between what Big Pharma sells and the offerings of street corner drug pushers, who both use the same tactics (now, at least) to win customers, yet we carry on a "war" against one and allow the other to advertise every hour on TV. I would argue the danger isn't in the products, it's in the methods. No manipulation is good manipulation.

  • I never understood the reluctance of children and indeed grown ups to eat greens. I think it may be more to do with the method of preparation. I'll admit I was always put off by over boiled cabbage as a kid, but I always loved spinach and most other greens. Mustard greens and water spinach are superlatively good especially if properly cooked. Asparagus too. Perhaps the abominable creamed spinach might be part of the reason for children not liking spinach in particular. Crack open a can of that and see if it
    • I'm not sure if it was true or not, but I was once told that it has to do with the taste buds of children. They taste differently than adults as a primitive protection against poisonous substances/plants. So, while we beg children to eat their vegetables, at one point in history, that mentality saved them from eating those poisonous mushrooms and whatnot. As a person who struggled with vegetables as a child and now eats them regularly as an adult, I swear there were some vegetables that literally caused
      • yes, collards are great too. Also kale, chard, bok choy. I eat a lot of broccoli these days, not because I particularly like it, but because it is cheap in my neighbourhood. Kind of tired of it by now though.
      • by Phyvo ( 876321 )

        I hated greens as a kid. I would only eat 4-5 peas at a meal, more would make me gag. As I've gotten older they've gotten a lot more tolerable than they used to be. I'm trying my best to eat healthier but it cab be hard to undo 16 years of habits...

      • by drewhk ( 1744562 )

        I read somewhere that children are unconsciously preferring meat and other high-protein foods over low-protein ones. In fact most of the children in the world that die in hunger does not die because they do not eat at all, but they do because they cannot get every nutrition element they need for development. Adults are more resistant to food deprivation.

      • by sjames ( 1099 )

        I can remember with a bit of effort how things tasted then. Bitter is a much stronger taste for a child and carries a much more aversive quality. Sweet, on the other hand was muted. One theory is that it is because children are much more sensitive to alkaloid poisoning and alkaloids are bitter. So the same peas that have a bit of a sweet taste with a bitter note behind now that I'm an adult used to be bitter incarnate and not the least bit sweet.

        In other cases, it seems like more a matter of sophistication

  • by i_want_you_to_throw_ ( 559379 ) on Monday August 09, 2010 @04:08PM (#33194384) Journal
    what about yams? You know, "I yam what I yam and that's all I yam".
  • Correlation doesn't imply causation...

    Good parents encourage children to watch "good programming" rather than MTV, Spike, etc.
    Good parents encourage kids to eat vegetables for dinner.

    Bad parents don't care what their children watch.
    Bad parents don't care if their kids eat vegetables or chocolate bars for dinner.

    Good parenting implies children eating vegetables... not a TV show

    • Watching popeye did make me want to try spinach, it's horrible taste stopped me from continuing to eat it. The same with sonic the hedgehog and chillydogs. I loved swiss cheese because of tom and jerry.
      I still think of sonic the hedgehog when I have chilli fries in Eddie Rockets, TV definitely affected the way I think about food. When I went to America I was so excited to try twinkies and cream soda and sarsaparilla and orieos (They're available here now, they weren't then) and pretzels (same) and flan and
    • Do children who watch vegetables have better taste in television?

      As a kid, I O.D.'d on spinach till I turned green which led to a nickname which wasn't popeye.

      My favorite cartoon was Bugs and I ate a lot of raw carrots; however, rabbits like carrot tops; not roots.


      This is a stinking sig, and no one needs it.

    • Don't be a simpleton.

      It's not binary.

      Oh, and since I have your attention:

      "Correlation doesn't imply Causation"

      YES IT DOES. are you really that stupid?

      now Correlation doesn't MEAN Causation.

      By definition Correlation implies Causation.

      Learn your logical fallacies before you spout off next time.
      Here is a great start:
      http://www.theskepticsguide.org/resources/logicalfallacies.aspx [theskepticsguide.org]

      For the lazy:
      Confusing association with causation
      This is similar to the post-hoc fallacy in that it assumes cause and effect for two v

  • Back in the 70s I watched popeye, But all I got out of it was candy cigarettes, and I recall I convinced my parents to get me a corn cob pipe. Think maybe that's why the popularity of that cartoon went down with politically correct movement and the smoking bans?
  • In the late 60's I would eat a can of spinach myself after school. It was my favorite. I ate it with apple cider vinegar on it. I can only figure it was because of Popeye. In 1977 when I came out of anesthesia from surgery, I sang "I'm Popeye the Sailor Man" to those in the room.
  • Who ever tagged this "!causation" obviously didn't watch Pop Eye growing up. It definitely influenced my vegetable intake. I remember thinking about Pop Eye when sucking up the strength to eat more steamed broccoli.
  • A proper animation diet is also important, and the Popeyes by Fleisher Studios - the 30s answer to Pixar - put all the other incarnations from then to now to shame. (Famous Studios? Feh!) Case in point: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFNtm18RQGU [youtube.com]

  • Funny I remember watching Popeye a lot when I was very young but I still hate vegetables. I used to steal all of the Green M&Ms and imagine that they powered me up though. Mmmm.

  • I now smoke a corn cob pipe and I have physical confrontations with a large hairy adversary. I also feel the need to express my chauvinistic tendencies by saving damsels in distress.

    (only one of these things is true)

  • Pardon me, while I sit my girlfriend down in front of the entire first season of the HBO series "Hung".

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hung_(TV_series) [wikipedia.org]

  • I feel the urge to eat whale meat. Mmmmmm sweet delicious whale meat, most forbidden of all the meats. Also I want to join a japanese "research" vessel in the far south pacific and fight dirty smelly hippies and run over their boats.

  • Seriously.

    I first started enjoying broccoli and other vegetables via Chinese restaurants which prepared these vegetables with *slightly* sweetened sauces.

    If you just boil or steam the fuck out of a vegetable and do nothing else, nobody but a health food nut will like it.

  • I eat a spinach salad topped with olive oil (oyl) almost every night of the week. So how come my forearms don't look like bowling pins?
  • Spinach has a lot calcium, but it also has a lot of oxalic acid which binds it up and keeps a human digestive system from absorbing most of it.

    Turnip greens as well as mustard greens have a shit load more of calcium and it is much more absorbable, rivaling what you can get drinking cows milk.

    If you live near an Asian grocery, Chinese mustard greens taste better and have even more calcium.

    While you are at the Asian grocery look for "choy sum" or "chinese flowering cabbage" one cooked cup of this green leafy

    • by geekoid ( 135745 )

      Mustard green are nasty. And I usually like all foods.

      And no, it does NOT have more calcium then milk. Greens have about 591mg calcium per pound. Milk has 300 per cup. 2.3 cups of milk weigh a pound.
      So a pound of greens: 591mg
      A pound of milk: 700mg

      Green are healthy, nasty, but healthy. But don't buy into the vegan tendency to 'exaggerate'* about foods.

      *lie about food to support their irrational belief.

      • 1 cup of cows milk has 300 mg of calcium, only 32% of which is absorbed, yielding 96 mg net.

        1 cup of ordinary mustard greens, cooked, has 128 mg of calcium, 58% of which is absorbed, yielding 74 mg net. A negligible difference.

        1 cup of chinese mustard greens, cooked, which you can get in almost any oriental grocery contains 424 mg of calcium, 40% of which is absorbed, yielding 170 mg net. Just short of twice the calcium you would get to keep from drinking one cup of cows milk.

        As for taste, I would suggest f

  • Hah! I used to use popeye to get my sister to eat her spinach (and other green vegetables)! It was the only reason she'd eat them!

    I wonder if it'd still work, she's a teenager now and doesn't eat any bloody vegetables.
    • by neminem ( 561346 )
      I don't blame her. I wouldn't really want to eat bloody vegetables either; I don't even like rare meat, but at least there you know where the blood would be coming from. On vegetables, though, it would just be disturbing.
  • I like my food and during my study I've worked in good restaurants as a cook.

    Move away from "Making kids eat vegetables". Instead, produce good vegetable dishes your kids will like and want!

    If you want your kids to eats food you should stop trying to shove it down their throats. Appetite starts with an enjoyable atmosphere and with food that smells and looks good. And ultimately the food has to taste. So, make an effort and have enjoyable meals with your family. Cooking is one of the basic tasks of mu
    • by geekoid ( 135745 )

      Or grind up some serving of broccoli and put it in chocolate cake.

      Yes people needs fat, however we are saturated in fatty foods.

      As for my kids? Well here is an actual sentence I utter to my children couple of years ago:
      "You can't have any more broccoli until you finish your meat."

      My kids were to young to get it, but my wife laughed.

      • Yes people needs fat, however we are saturated in fatty foods.

        Oops, I forgot the bulk of /. readers are from the US where anything is either good or bad... As I write, fat seems to be out and anything light is good. This perhaps will change in a decade or to. We need natural, healthy fats. Like olive oil or rapeseed oil for instance. And no, you shouldn't take too much fat. Try cooking meet with less fat and have vegetable with fat instead.

  • I watched Popeye as a kid. And when I saw Popeye brand spinach in the store, I *insisted* my mom buy it for me.

    That stuff was so awful I've never touched spinach since. And I've never been much of a veggie person in general. Soit really engendered an opposite effect in me. Small sample size and all, but still...yuck.

    And I still don't know why everyone is so impressed with Popeye's arm strength. The real strength comes in his being able to chew and swallow that crap so quickly.

  • I was a *freak* for vegetables a child. I still enjoy them a lot. Stopping to think about it, though, I distinctly remember wanting to eat more green vegetables after watching Popeye.

    It's anecdotal, but I can sort of see this working.

"So why don't you make like a tree, and get outta here." -- Biff in "Back to the Future"