Telling your child to eat an apple so they stay healthy will work better than telling them not to eat the cookie because it will make them fat. New findings from a recent study show that “don’t” messages don’t really work for most of us.
Researchers from the Cornell Food & Brand Lab found that focusing on Do is better than on Don’t. Many health campaigns use a fear approach to convince us to eat better by telling us that fatty foods are bad for us or how too much candy can give you cavities.
From 43 published international studies, researchers found that negative messages mostly worked with experts like doctors and dieticians – those knowledgeable in the area. For the layman, most would rather be told what they should eat and why it’s good for them.
So the next time you’re looking out for your family’s diet, tell your child or spouse what they can eat and not what they can’t. Stay positive.
Cornell Food & Brand Lab. “‘Do’ is better than ‘don’t’ when it comes to eating better.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 May 2015.