Study Shows Children Find Foods Taste Better if the Packages Feature Popular Cartoon Characters

SpongeBob SquarePants, Shrek, Dora the Explorer, and many other cartoon characters do double duty selling junk food and sometimes healthy foods to kids, and new research shows why manufacturers use them.

The study found that foods packaged with popular cartoon characters really do taste better -- or at least they do to 4-, 5-, and 6-year-olds.

The effect was not as great with carrots as with less healthy fruit-flavored gummies and graham crackers, but more children said they preferred the taste of all three snacks when the foods bore the image of a familiar cartoon face.

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