Early Adolescents’ Food Selection After Evaluating the Healthiness of Remote Peers’ Food Choices

Ramón Cobo-Reyes, Juan A. Lacomba, Francisco Lagos, Christina Zenker, Ernesto Reuben

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study investigates whether asking early adolescents to evaluate the food choices of remote peers improves their own food selection. Participants were students from fifth (N = 219, Mage = 9.30 years) and sixth grades (N = 248, Mage = 10.28 years) of varying nationalities living in the United Arab Emirates (race and ethnicity were not collected). Students saw peers’ healthy or unhealthy food choices before picking their own food. In some conditions, students also critically evaluated the healthiness of the peers’ choices. Evaluation of peer choices led to healthier decisions (d =.53) to the point that it offsets the negative impact of observing unhealthy peer choices. This effect is larger for sixth graders compared to fifth graders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalChild development
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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