By Elizabeth Harrington | Washington Free Beacon
The federal government is worried Dora the Explorer is contributing to childhood obesity.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded two grants totaling $750,000 to find out if cartoon characters are making children overweight and whether researchers can hone the marketing power of characters to sway kids’ eating habits.
Both studies were awarded last June, and the project is scheduled to run until 2016. The first grant, totaling $300,000, was awarded to Ellen Wartella, a psychology professor at Northwestern University. Sandra Calvert, the director of the Children’s Digital Media Center at Georgetown University, received$450,000.
The “collaborative research” is entitled, “Media Characters: The Unhidden Persuaders in Food Marketing to Children.”