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Manga Encourages Kids to Eat Healthy

posted on 2014-02-19 17:30 EST by Chris Nishijima
Study shows that manga can be used to promote good eating habits.

There's an unwritten rule that seeing food in anime makes seem even more appealing than it would in real life. Now it seems that there may actually be some scientific evidence supporting that idea. A pilot study conducted recently in Brooklyn, New York found that manga can be used as a tool to encourage children and teenagers to increase their fruit intake.

The study gathered data from a group of 57 children of 11 years old, most of whom were either African American or Hispanic in ethnic background. From there, the children were split up into two separate groups at random. The first group of children were given an original manga to read, titled "Fight for Your Right to Fruit," while the others were given a non-health related newsletter. After reading the designated materials, the children were offered a choice between a healthy snack of fruit or a junk food option of items such as cookies or potato chips.

Sixty-one percent of the children who had been given the manga to read chose the healthy option, while only thirty-five percent of the other group did the same.

Dr. May May Leung, who conducted the innovative study and wrote an article on it believes that manga may have an effect on childrens eating habits due to the immersive nature of the medium. She has been quoted, saying that "Manga comics could be used to promote healthier behaviors and beliefs related to fruit consumption in at-risk youth. The graphics and minimal text make it a promising format to engage younger populations."

Dr. Leung's article was published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior this past January.

[Via: Asian Scientist.]


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