What influences sustainable consumption among youths?

Picture of a mobile taking a photo of food

Consumption of sustainable food is crucial for climate change mitigation and requires the involvement of people of all ages, in particular young people. In an article recently published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Carolin Zorell investigates how youths in the modern digitalized society find information about food choices and what sources are most influential in making them decide one option or the other.

Carolin presents findings from a survey conducted with Swedish youths, in which the participants were asked from where they mainly get information about food and eating, as well as which sources have the greatest influence on their food choices. The results illustrate that while adolescents mainly find information about food choices and eating on social media, the power of influence remains in the hands of parents and family. As such, young people are not simply marionettes of social media, but rather they mainly follow the patterns of close ones in their social environment. Zorell uses the term “central persons” to describe how certain people have the power to inspire large numbers of people to adopt environmentally sustainable consumption and discusses how such central persons might play a key role in further normalizing sustainable consumption in society. 

Zorell, C. V. (2022). Central persons in sustainable (food) consumption. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(5), 3139. Read more about the publication here