British appliance manufacturer Belling has released a study of the eating habits of superheroes – which reveals they are all fighting evil on minimal nutrition.
The research, commissioned by Belling and carried out by Tom Craig, a visiting professor in film at the University of Malta, analysed more than 40 films and discovered that the leading superhero characters are often depicted snacking on junk food such as waffles, churros, pizza and cheeseburgers.
Responding to the study and to coincide with the recent National Superheroes Day, Belling has created a superhero-themed recipe book which includes healthy versions of ten as-seen-on-screen dishes eaten by the characters.
The book, Superhero Recipes For Your Little Heroes, is available free via Belling’s website, and retailers are being encouraged to get involved in the campaign, with promotional assets available for on-line and in-store activity via their area sales managers.
Of the 43 films analysed, only 18% featured the heroes eating one of their five-a-day fruit and veg, while dessert foods such as ice cream, cake, and cookies accounted for 30% of the on-screen food sightings. Pizza was the most commonly eaten dish, appearing in 9% of the movies, with Japanese, Thai, and Chinese dishes cropping up in another 9%.
The superhero with the least nutritious diet was Spider-Man, who enjoys chocolate cake, chocolate chip cookies, gummy worms, churros, and doughnuts, while Natasha Romanoff – the Black Widow – was seen eating a peanut butter sandwich as a full meal in Avengers: Endgame, and Eddie Brock and his symbiote Venom eat nothing but deep-fried tater tots more than once.
Healthy exceptions to the rule included animated favourites The Incredibles enjoying a balanced home-cooked dinner, Bruce Wayne blending spinach smoothies between defending Gotham as Batman, and Iron Man himself, Tony Stark, snacking on crudités and blueberries.
Jane Rylands, head of marketing communications at Belling, said: “Given the popularity of the superhero film genre, it’s no surprise that viewers are inspired by what they see on the screen – and we know that this means our little ones will want to eat the foods they see Iron Man and Elasti-Girl enjoying too.
“As Belling’s been at the heart of the family home for more than 100 years, we understand the importance of instilling a love of cooking from an early age and we hope our superhero recipe book will help to do just that.”
A free limited edition printed copy of Superhero Recipes For Your Little Heroes can be requested at www.belling.co.uk/superheroes, where a PDF of the book can also be downloaded.