Kids Who Can ID Fast-Food Logos are More Likely to Be Overweight

It isn’t supposed to be this way, but parenthood can be a competitive sport. Whose kid scored the most points? Whose got the best grades? Whose started speaking or walking or crawling earliest? Whose got a modeling contract? Whose can identify the most brand logos? Most of the time, when our child excels, we’re proud—as though somehow his or her accomplishments are a reflection of our amazing parenting skills.

But when it comes to brand logos, we may want to be a little more humble—and discouraging—especially if those logos have anything to do with fast foods. According to researchers at Michigan State University, the more fast-food logos a child could identify, the greater his or her BMI (a measure of body fat based on a ratio between height and weight).

According to a University press release, The researchers tested children ages 3 to 5 by giving them pictures of unhealthy food-related logos. They then gave the kids pictures of food items, packaging and cartoon characters and asked them to match the items with their corresponding brand logos.

“The results varied, which is a good thing,” Ann McAlister, a professor of advertising at Michgan State. “Some kids knew very little about the brands while others knew them exceptionally well.”

The study was published in the journal Appetite. You can read an abstract here: