Teaching Teens to Spot Deceptive Marketing

For decades, we’ve seen health experts try to compete with food marketers—trying to convince teenagers to skip junk food and eat healthily—with little success. Being marketing experts, they clearly have the upper hand. But a new study is offering hope in the battle against obesity by teaching teens to spot deceptive marketing.

The study, "A Values-Alignment Intervention Protects Adolescents from the Effects of Food Marketing," published in Nature Human Behaviour, has found that tapping into adolescents’ rebellious nature can motivate them to make sustainable, healthier food choices.

Working in teens’ classes, the University of Chicago Booth School of Business researchers uncovered the manipulative marketing practices and deceptive packaging used to hook youth on these addictive foods, particularly targeting low-income populations.

Learning that they were being manipulated activated their sense of social justice and led to a 30% reduction in unhealthy food choices.

Watch the video, Make it About Rebellion:

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