Psychological trick made teenagers rebel against junk food

If we add together the global problem of aging populations in developed countries and the total obesity epidemic, we get an extremely bleak picture of the future. It will be populated not so much by weak, sick people as by yesterday's children who do not know an alternative to their existence. And therefore, any initiatives on how to turn young people away from junk food and unhealthy habits in general are now of strategic importance.

It's not fast food that is bad, but the habit of eating only it is exactly what the marketing of big brands imposes. But simply pointing out the harm of junk food and opposing it with a healthy diet is useless, adolescents perceive this as moralizing and resist.

The authors of the new study from Texas took the opposite path - they relied on the rebelliousness inherent in youth. And also some envy towards those who have already achieved more. In an experiment with high school students, one group was honestly told about the disadvantages of fast food and the benefits of healthy eating. And another group was told about advertising gimmicks, falsification of facts, marketing gimmicks and how much big companies are making from it.

As a result, boys from the second group began to buy 31% less fast food. The girls remained unconvinced, since they already mostly follow the figures and count the calories. The study authors now hope to receive a grant to scale the experiment to the entire state. The technique is simple and effective - to instill in children a negative attitude towards junk food, as a symbol of their deception and exploitation by big business.