The study, published in the journal Nature Human Behaviour, found that a simple and brief intervention can provide lasting protection for adolescents against these harmful effects of food marketing.
The method works in part by tapping into teens' natural desire to rebel against authority, researchers said.
The article framed the corporations as manipulative marketers trying to hook consumers on addictive junk food for financial gain.
The stories also described deceptive product labels and advertising practices that target vulnerable populations, including very young children and the poor.
A separate, control group of students received traditional material from existing health education programs about the benefits of healthy eating. The researchers found that the group that read the exposes chose fewer junk food snacks and selected water over sugary sodas the next day.
Teens first read the marketing expose material, and then did an activity called "Make It True," meant to reinforce the negative portrayal of food marketing.
The study found that the effects of the marketing expose intervention endured for the remainder of the school year -- a full three months.
The effects were particularly impressive among boys, who reduced their daily purchases of unhealthy drinks and snacks in the school cafeteria by 31 per cent in that time period, compared with the control group.
Researchers found that reframing how students view food-marketing campaigns can spur adolescents, particularly boys, to make healthier daily dietary choices for an extended period of time.
The intervention produced an enduring change in both boys' and girls' immediate, gut-level, emotional reactions to junk food marketing messages.
"One of the most exciting things is that we got kids to have a more negative immediate gut reaction to junk food and junk food marketing, and a more positive immediate gut reaction to healthy foods," said Bryan.
This relatively simple intervention could be an early sign of a public-health game changer, researchers said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)