Scientists Discover Children Are Impulsive and Immature

In a stunning breakthrough, scientists have discovered that children are impulsive and immature. Publishing their findings in Eating Behavior, Astrid Junhans and colleagues uncovered “the necessity of improving children’s self-regulatory skills to support their desire to remain healthy.”

In other words, they found that kids need to grow up.

They made this discovery by comparing children and adults. They exposed both groups to unhealthy food cues and measured how distracted they became. While both children and adults had similar aspirations for eating healthy food, adults demonstrated a greater capacity to shift their focus away from unhealthy food cues than children did.

The authors note that the limitations of their study include the fact that they did not measure any actual eating behavior. Further research will obviously be needed. Next they might discover that children are attracted to candy.

Studies like this do serve a purpose. For people who want to make leaps of faith from blindingly obvious observations to broad policy prescriptions for which real evidence is lacking, such studies are ideal. The authors lay the groundwork in their conclusions, saying that their findings emphasize the necessity “to protect children from the influences of the obesogenic environment.”

Indeed, protecting children is a good idea. But we’re not quite ready to write a blank check.

To read the study, click here.

Crianças / Kinder / Children, photograph © Cristiano de Jesus / flickr

Subscribe by email to follow the accumulating evidence and observations that shape our view of health, obesity, and policy.