We are not rational beings when it comes to our health. Although we know that our personal behaviors are linked to the development of diseases such as obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes, we still eat unhealthy foods, do not exercise enough, and drink and smoke too much. Our tendency to satisfy short-term interests and discount more impactful long-term consequences is an example of a cognitive bias examined in behavioral economics research.1,2 This type of cognitive bias is likely magnified for adolescents, and the health consequences are much more serious for youth with type 1 diabetes, who face the development of life-threatening diabetes complications years or decades later if they do not attend to health behaviors, such as blood glucose (BG) monitoring and insulin delivery in the present.
Mulvaney S, Lee JM. Motivating Health Behaviors in Adolescents Through Behavioral Economics. JAMA Pediatr. 2017;171(12):1145–1146. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2017.3464
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