Lessons from Sesame Street

At a recent national health conference we were asked – who is your favorite Sesame Street muppet? The answers varied, but most everyone had a favorite and the room grew animated as we shared our answers with one another.

For generations children have been learning fundamentals through Sesame Street’s educational muppets. What you may not know is the amount of research that goes in to creating those short skits. While each lesson is fun, the messaging is also intentional. According to research related to healthy behaviors, Sesame Street Workshop staff found that as kids grew and were exposed to health messaging their knowledge of healthy eating habits increased (the yellow bar in the image below); however, that didn’t directly translate to behavior change (the blue bar). Despite their knowing better, they still chose to eat the less healthy foods.

Borrowed from GIH 2013 conference materials

Borrowed from GIH 2013 conference materials

While these findings are related to preschoolers, the same can also be said of adults. Though we may know better, we don’t always do better. Which do you prefer – healthy or unhealthy food options? What does it take to make the healthy choice in your every day life?


About the Author
The Potomac Health Foundation is an independent, private foundation organized exclusively for charitable purposes. The Foundation seeks to improve health and wellness for the people residing in the Foundation’s service area.