Media can provide a positive influence, if there is a profit in it

Comics Influence Eating Habits in Children: Study. HNGN.com, February 11, 2014.

An interesting study that follows the same theme described in my last article and set of tweets: The media can be used for good, if the message itself is positive. Previously I wrote about the FDA using a marketing barrage to make the point that perhaps kids can be influence via commercials to turn away from smoking cigarettes. The article cited above suggests a similar tactic in the national battle against childhood obesity.

The article describes a study conducted utilizing Manga cartoon stories as a vehicle for turning kids toward eating fruits. The study found that if certain kids are presented with Manga-style cartoons that encourage kids to eat fruits, versus a control group without his message, kids tend to eat more fruits.

The idea here is that a popular product like Manga cartoons, with good graphics and minimal text, naturally attracts kids and pulls them into an immersion in a Manga world. Once there, the child is influenced rather easily into eating more vegetables,  as seems to happen with many kids immediately after such a Manga world immersion.

The real issue here is that the makers of Manga-style comics are not really that interested in kids’ eating habits, but rather in turning a profit. So where would the impetus of more positive messages spring from? Probably from parents and certain benign societal forces, ones different than profit motivation. Draw your own conclusions.