When kids' favorite thing in the world (eating) combines with their second (watching cartoons), things get heavy fast. 

Kids are pretty dumb. But since they haven't been alive for very long, they have a decent excuse. They tend to just mimic what they see and hear, so when it comes to deciding what's acceptable, they're pretty damn impressionable. 

The good folks at CU-Boulder wanted to figure out how much of a impact cartoons had on those dough-minded ankle biters, and oh man, did they figure it out. 

Based on a study of approximately 300 kids aged 8-13, the findings published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology suggest that children tend to perceive ovoid (or egg-shaped) characters as overweight, and this led children to eat more delicious high-calorie crap such as cookies and candy.

One of the comparative cartoon images shown. The fat guy on the right made kids hungrier. 

Monkey see, monkey eat, right?

“They have a tendency to eat almost twice as much indulgent food as kids who are exposed to perceived healthier looking cartoon characters or no characters at all,” said Margaret C. Campbell, marketing professor at CU-Boulder’s Leeds School of Business and lead author of the study. “What I would like to see is companies being a lot more responsible with their own marketing choices. I think it is important for parents to know they should think about the way they might be associating food with fun for kids — in the form of exposure to cartoon characters, for instance.”

And that news got us googling "fat cartoon characters," which brought us this gem: