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R U eating healthy 2day?

Date:
January 9, 2013
Source:
Elsevier Health Sciences
Summary:
Teens receive an average of 114 texts per day! Couple this with CDC's report that high school students' consumption of fruit and vegetables is, on average, 1.2 times per day and it makes sense to start using text messages to inform teens about health. In a new study, it was found that, in order to inform and motivate teens, text messages should address the reality of today's adolescent lifestyles.

According to the Nielsen consumer research group, teens receive an average of 3,417 text messages per month (that's 114 texts per day!). Couple this with CDC's report that high school students' consumption of fruit and vegetables is, on average, 1.2 times per day (much lower than the recommended 5 a day) and it makes sense to start using text messages to inform teens about health. In a new study released in the January/February 2013 issue of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, it was found that, in order to inform and motivate teens, text messages should address the reality of today's adolescent lifestyles.

The findings from this study were based on a one-year testing period involving 177 teens. During this year, researchers at the University of Arizona explored teens' preferences for message content, format, style (or message ''voice''), origin, and frequency and mode of message delivery. From the pilot test of their healthy lifestyle text messages, the researchers found that teens liked an active voice that referenced teens and recommended specific, achievable behaviors sent from nutrition professionals.

According to study's lead author, Melanie Hingle, PhD, MPH, RD, University of Arizona, "The current consensus is that intervention programs targeting adolescents combat obesity with limited, short-lived success. The majority of traditional approaches employed to date have relied on expert-led fitness and nutrition education programs delivered within the school setting. New approaches are needed to effectively engage teens in age appropriate, teen-centric, relevant activities that can be sustained beyond traditional health promotion settings. The ubiquity of mobile phone use among adolescents offers an engaging, youth-friendly avenue through which to promote healthy behaviors."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Elsevier Health Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Melanie Hingle, Mimi Nichter, Melanie Medeiros, Samantha Grace. Texting for Health: The Use of Participatory Methods to Develop Healthy Lifestyle Messages for Teens. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 2013; 45 (1): 12 DOI: 10.1016/j.jneb.2012.05.001

Cite This Page:

Elsevier Health Sciences. "R U eating healthy 2day?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 January 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130109110051.htm>.
Elsevier Health Sciences. (2013, January 9). R U eating healthy 2day?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130109110051.htm
Elsevier Health Sciences. "R U eating healthy 2day?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130109110051.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

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