For Healthier Children, Switch to the ‘Batman Diet’

Thinkstock Images/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Kids are more apt to make healthier food choices if they’re asked the question: “What Would Batman Eat?”

Cornell researchers made that discovery by observing 6- to 12-year-old summer campers who were given the pick of either French fries or apple fries, which are actually thinly sliced raw apples.

It turns out that the youngsters were more inclined to pick the apple fries if they were first shown photos of both actual and fictional role models and then asked the question “Would this person order apple fries or French fries?"

The researchers correctly guessed that those kids who believed their heroes would eat healthy also tried to emulate their idols by choosing apple fries.

In doing so, the children were doing their bodies a favor by enjoying a 34-calorie treat as opposed to the fries that packed 227 calories.

Therefore, parents were advised to do more than just ordering healthy food for their kids.  They should also ask, “What would Batman eat?” in hopes their youngsters would know the Caped Crusader is also the scourge of bad food choices.

Head researcher Brian Wansink added, “If you eat fast food once a week, a small switch from French fries to apple fries could save your children almost three pounds of weight a year.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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