STANFORD, Calif., May 3 (UPI) — A “stealth” strategy motivates students to change eating habits for environmental and social reasons — not personal health, U.S. researchers said.
The study, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, found students taking a course on the ethical, environmental and social ramifications of food consumption made healthier eating choices than students taking one of three courses dealing with the health aspects of food such as obesity.
Researchers at California’s Stanford University Medical Center said decisions based on the greater good — for example, cutting back on processed food and eating more locally grown vegetables to help curb global warming — resulted in more healthful eating than personal eating decisions made by students taking health courses.
“This is a novel strategy, and we believe it is an important new direction to pursue,” senior author Dr. Thomas Robinson said in a statement.
“When people get involved in social movements, it changes their behavior more dramatically than what we’ve seen with more cognitive-based approaches.”
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