NY Daily News:
For children, the lure of cookies and fast food is distinctly more powerful than for adolescents and adults, although children’s cognitive wiring is well suited to train such cravings, according to researchers hailing principally from Columbia University.
“These findings are important because they suggest that we may have another tool in our toolbox to combat childhood obesity,” says psychological scientist and lead researcher Jennifer A. Silvers, a post-doctoral fellow at Columbia University in the laboratory of Professor Kevin Ochsner.
Indeed, the study is unique because other research in the area has pointed the finger at advertising and the ready availability of sweets and high-fat foods, focusing more on an environment that is unlikely to change rather than asking if the individual child is capable of overcoming the influence.
“Such environmental interventions are clearly important, but sugary sweets and tempting treats cannot always be avoided,” says Silvers. “If children as young as 6 can learn to use a cognitive strategy after just a few minutes of training, that has huge implications for interventions.”
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