Labelling foods with emoji-like symbols could encourage children to eat healthier foods, according to research competed in the US.
As the Washington Post reports, research carried out by the University of Phoenix and published in the journal Appetite found that, when ‘emolabels’ were added to food and children were told that happy labels identified healthy foods, most children swapped to the healthy option.
The study involved children from kindergarten to sixth grade who were asked to choose four food items each from two shopping aisles. One aisle included products with the emolables, while the products in the other aisle carried no labels.
In the aisle with the labels 83 per cent of children changed of their choices to a healthier product.
Greg Privitera, research chair at the Center for Behavioral Health Research for the University of Phoenix School of Advanced Studies lead the study.
According to Privitera the results “tells us that children are using [this] health information to make choices about their food…and that’s something that they aren’t empowered with now.”
He added that, following these findings, he intends to conduct a large-scale, population-based study in the future.