LOS ANGELES, CA - Teenagers, you can skip this one. A study has revealed a hack for harnessing your teenager’s attitude to do good -- and it plays right into their most defiant instincts.
The findings, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, show how teenagers can be “encouraged” to make healthier choices if the choices are presented as “fighting The Man.”
Researchers gave one group of students info about eating healthy food, but the other group read an exposé about how some food companies formulate junk foods to be addictive and get “creative” with their labeling to make it seem healthier than it is.
Framing “the avoidance of junk food” as an act of rebellion actually worked. The next day all the students were asked to select the menu for a class party. The kids from the “enlightened” group were more likely to choose fruits and vegetables over soda and chips.
We all know a teen who’s done something out of spite - but choosing baby carrots? That’s powerful stuff. The researchers are continuing the study to see whether the effects are long term.
And teens - if you read this because we told you not to - what do you think about the study?