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Healthy Weight Center

Did Cookie Monster Have an Effect on Obesity?

12/02/2011

Question:

Did Cookie Monster have an effect on child obesity? Do you think his cookie eating habits were to blame for children being overweight?

Answer:

I am not aware of any studies specific to Cookie Monster alone. Since the cause of obesity is multifaceted, it would be difficult to state that this one change in a child's life would have significant impact alone. Most studies address the impact of advertising on a child's weight and you can search for those articles using PubMed.gov (a wonderful search engine for scientific articles). Two articles I quickly found on the topic from that site are:

Guran T, Bereket A. International epidemic of childhood obesity and television viewing. Minerva Pediatr. 2011 Dec;63(6):483-9.

Coon KA, Tucker KL.  Television and children's consumption patterns. A review of the literature. Minerva Pediatr.  2002 Oct;54(5):423-36.

For information specific to cookie monster, I tried a quick Google search. If you go to "What's the truth behind Cookie Monster evolving into the Vegetable Monster?" you will find many opinions on the issue of changing Cookie Monster's diet. The article "Cookie Monster Advocating Eating Healthy" listed there and written by Chelsea Carter of the Associated Press on April 7, 2005 is informative.

You can also look at the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website to see statistics on the percentage of overweight children and if it has changed for the better since 1999 - when Cookie Monster changed his diet.

I hope this is of some help to you. Good luck!

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Response by:

Jane   Korsberg, MS, RD, LD Jane Korsberg, MS, RD, LD
Senior Instructor of Nutrition
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University