Manga comics could help promote fruit consumption among young adults
Researchers have suggested that exposure to Manga comics (Japanese comic art) promoting fruit intake significantly improved healthy snack selection.
Lead author May May Leung, PhD, RD, City University of New York School of Public Health and Hunter College, said Manga comics make it a promising format to engage younger populations.
The study was set in two after-school programs affiliated with Brooklyn Community Services, a New York City-based nonprofit community organization, in the summer and fall of 2011. It comprised 57 youth, approximately 11 years of age, nearly 90 per cent of whom were either Black/African American or Hispanic and 54 per cent were female.
The researchers used an innovative intervention promoting positive dietary behaviors to capture the attention of youth living in a multimedia environment; specifically, Manga comics, which are Japanese comic art.
According to the Transportation-Imagery Model, persuasion of a story's messages occurs because an individual is ''transported'' or immersed into the narrative world, and images in a story are impactful in influencing behavior, which is why Manga was selected for this study.
After reading either a Manga comic, titled 'Fight for Your Right to Fruit,' or a non-health-related newsletter, children were given the choice between a healthy snack (oranges, grapes, apples, strawberries) or an energy-dense snack (cookies, potato chips, nacho chips, and cheese-filled crackers).
Sixty-one percent of children in the comic group chose a healthy snack after reading, opposed to just 35 per cent of the control group.
The new study has been published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.
(Posted on 11-02-2014)