Texting to Improve Teen HealthA new study leverages teens’ relationships with cell phones and text messages as a method to enhance health literacy and improve health behaviors.

According to the Nielsen consumer research group, U.S. teens receive an average of 3,417 text messages per month or a whopping 114 texts per day. Teens also have notoriously have poor diets, with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reporting 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).

Given these factors, researchers studied the use of text messages to inform teens about health behaviors.

Investigators studied 177 teens for a one-year period. They discovered that in order to inform and motivate teens, text messages should address the reality of today’s adolescent lifestyles.

Investigators explored teens’ preferences for message content, format, style (or message ”voice”), origin, and frequency and mode of message delivery.

Full story of texting to improve health at Psych Central

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