According to a US survey, each teen receives an average of 3,417 text messages per month or 114 texts daily.
Couple this with a report of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that high school students' consumption of fruits and vegetables is, on an average, 1.2 times per day (against the recommended five) and it makes sense to start using text messages to promote health among teens.
A University of Arizona study found that, in order to inform and motivate teens, text messages should address the reality of today's adolescent lifestyles, the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behaviour reports.
Melanie Hingle from Arizona, who led the study, said: "The ubiquity of mobile phone use among adolescents offers an engaging, youth-friendly avenue through which to promote healthy behaviours," added Hingle, according to an Arizona statement.
The findings from this study were based on a one-year testing period involving 177 teens. During this year, researchers at Arizona explored teens' preferences for message content, format, style (or message "voice"), origin, and frequency and mode of message delivery.
This study demonstrates a novel way in which to engage adolescents in "conversations" about health using a familiar communication method - that is in 160 characters or less!