Home > Lifestyle > Teen > News Updated 12 December 2013 Kids' movies send mixed messages In kids' movies depictions of sugar-sweetened beverages, exaggerated portion sizes and unhealthy snacks are common – as well as criticism of overweight. 0 iStock Related Intense TV watching rises obesity TV in bedroom ups obesity risk in kids Technology adding to worldwide obesity Ask Teen Expert » Quiz Will the relationship last? » Test Push-ups » From girl to woman From boy to man In a world where animals often take the place of humans, sugar-sweetened beverages, exaggerated portion sizes and unhealthy snacks are common. So is TV watching, computer use and video games.But this world is not kind to those who are overweight. A panda that aspires to be a martial arts master is told he'll never make it because of his "fat butt", "flabby arms" and "ridiculous belly". A chipmunk is called "fatty ratty". A donkey is called a "bloated roadside piñata" and told "you really should think about going on a diet".This is the world that's portrayed in the most popular children's movies (both live action and animated) released in the US from 2006 to 2010, according to a mixed-methods analysis performed by an ensemble cast of researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The examples cited above come from "Kung Fu Panda", "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakuel" and "Shrek the Third"."These children's movies offer a discordant presentation about food, exercise and weight status, glamorising unhealthy eating and sedentary behaviour yet condemning obesity itself," said Eliana M. Perrin, MD, MPH, associate professor of paediatrics in the UNC School of Medicine and corresponding author of the study, published online by the journal, Obesity.Stigmatised contentIn the study, Perrin and her co-authors analysed the top-grossing G- and PG-rated movies from 2006-2010. Four movies per year were included, for a total of 20 movies. Segments from each movie were assessed for the prevalence of key nutrition and physical behaviours corresponding to the American Academy of Paediatrics’ obesity prevention recommendations for families, prevalence of weight stigma, assessment of the segment as healthy, unhealthy or neutral and free-text interpretations.With regard to eating behaviours, the researchers found that 26% of the movie segments with food depicted exaggerated portion size, 51% depicted unhealthy snacks and 19% depicted sugar-sweetened beverages.With regard to depiction of behaviours, 40% of movies showed characters watching television, 35% showed characters using a computer and 20% showed characters playing video games.Movie segments rated as "unhealthy" by the researchers outnumbered those rated as "healthy" by 2:1, and most of the movies (70%) included weight-related stigmatising content."These popular children's movies had significant 'obesogenic' content, and most contained weight-based stigma," the study concludes. "They present a mixed message to children: promoting unhealthy behaviours while stigmatising the behaviours’ possible effects. EurekAlert NEXT ON HEALTH24X Humans correctly identify sick peers from a photo 2018-01-10 12:30 More: TeenNews advertisement Read Health24’s Comments Policy Comment on this story 0 comments Comments have been closed for this article. Logout Comment 0 characters remaining Share on Facebook Loading comments... Other news Diet and nutrition Here’s why you shouldn’t post your cheat meal on Instagram Medical Can I get flu from my dog? Diet and nutrition What is the Candida Diet and will it improve your health? Medical You can still save your heart if you are middle-aged and out of shape Lifestyle 3 foods you must eat if you’ve ever smoked Mental health Why some people freak out about belly buttons From our sponsors Managing diabetes in the workplace Back-to-school with diabetes Discover treatments that can help reduce acne What can I do to reduce or remove acne marks? Live healthier Fact or myth? » Clearing up the confusion around coconut oil Coconut – the 'fruit of life' Can coconut oil really help you lose weight? Experts dish on the high-cal weight-loss tactic. Sobering perks! » 5 tips to avoiding a hangover Can you really be allergic to alcohol? Is giving up booze for a month actually worth it? Many people commit to "Dry January" – but does it do your body any good?