Thursday, February 13, 2014

Comics Used to Promote Fruit Intake

Registered dietitians and other health professionals often struggle with making education materials appropriate for their audiences. Manga comics, Japanese comic art, were used to promote healthy snacking in a pilot program. This took place in Brooklyn, New York and employed the use of comics to promote choosing fruit over high energy snacks, such as cookies or chips. By using the comics, researchers were able to capture the attention of youth who are accustomed to living in a high media environment. This study looked at 57 children around the age of 11, many of whom were eligible for the school lunch program. Two groups were created, one group read the comic “Fight for Your Right to Fruit” while the second group read a non-nutrition related piece. Both groups were offered a choice of fruit or high energy foods for a snack after reading their respective pieces. 61% of the children in the comic group chose fruit for their snack after reading while only 35% of the control group chose fruit. While studies of a larger sample size need to be conducted, this research is helpful for health professionals to learn how to relate to their younger clients. 

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