Reading comics can be fun and healthy too! A latest study states that Manga ( Japanese comics) comics can instill healthy eating habits among youngsters.
The study, conducted on 57 youngsters aged around 11, found that reading Manga comics can influence children to eat fruits. Nearly 90 percent of the participants were minority students and 54 percent were female.
"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," lead author May May Leung, PhD, RD, City University of New York School of Public Health and Hunter College, said in a news release.
The researchers told the participants to read either a Manga comic titled 'Fight for Your Right to Fruit' or a non-health-related newsletter. Later, they were told to choose between a healthy snack such as oranges, grapes, apples, strawberries or an energy-dense snack like cookies, potato chips, nacho chips, and cheese-filled crackers.
The results showed that 61 percent of children in the cartoon group chose a healthy snack compared to 35 percent of children in the newsletter group.
Researchers said that Japanese cartoons are a unique form of multimodal narrative media combining visual images and words. Researchers explain that Japanese cartoons, or Manga, work by "transporting" or immersing readers into the narrative world.
A recent study also found that smothering veggies in sauces can make children eat more vegetables.
The findings are published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.