Nagging Children to Blame for Parents’ Purchases of Junk Food, Study Finds

The results of a recent study by the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health–that children are often the culprits behind parents buying junk food–came as no surprise to me.

If anything, it took me back to the days when my brother and I would beg, plead and impress upon our mother in the supermarket aisle that we must have a certain brand of cereal until, of course, she relented. The study blamed packaging, characters and commercials for this kind of behavior.

Mind you, it didn’t take long for her to realize that we were begging for the prizes inside the box of sugar-laden cereal rather than the cereal itself. Once our secret was out, we resorted to promising to eat the cereal, every day for breakfast if that’s what it took to get our precious prize.

Of course, once the box was opened, the obligatory serving consumed and the prize retrieved, we had little else to do with the purchase. Mom was no fool, and very quickly the gig was up.

She, like 35 percent of mothers in the Bloomberg School’s study, simply explained her reasons to us for not giving in. Basically, if we weren’t going to eat the cereal, she wasn’t going to buy it.

The study named nine more most-often used tactics moms employ to fend off sugar-happy children, including ignoring, distracting, allowing alternative substitutes and avoiding the supermarket with the little ones altogether.

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Michelle Ryan

About Michelle Ryan

Michelle Ryan is obsessed with good food, great shoes and Alabama football way down South in Savannah, Georgia. She hasn’t met a kitchen gadget she hasn’t at least thought about buying (trying them is another story) and devotes her time to Bikram Yoga, baking and trying to overcome long-held finicky eating habits.