The novelty of a Happy meal proves to captivate a broader audience than just children. In a study conducted by the University of Arizona they found that offering a prize along with a meal encouraged adults to eat less. There was not much detail in exactly how the study was conducted, except that the prizes were frequent-flyer miles and gift cards, so I cannot draw weighty conclusions yet.
This got me thinking, however, about what an unfortunate situation we have put ourselves in. It’s obvious that the US has a weight issue, but this study sheds light on the fact that it comes down to materialism. We are reluctant to reduce our consumption of food, stuff, unless we are offered a prize, more stuff.
On average American women own somewhere around 17 to 20 pairs of shoes but only where 5 pairs regularly. Also, 86% of women admit to owning at least one pair of shoes that they have never worn. That is a lot of excess stuff, and consumption has been rising. it should come as no surprise then that the US accounts for almost half of the worlds solid waste, but only makes up about 5 percent of its population. So in this particular case and effort to starve out overeating only feeds the consumer culture. Relief to our waistlines and our landfills would come in the form of learning to live with less.
On a side note...it would be amusing to see cereal brands which target adult to offer prizes in the box. I honestly think that putting collectible wine stoppers in boxes of Special K would be an effective marketing strategy, just saying. What kind of knick-knacks would you like to find on your cereal?