Hip Hop Food Pyramid - Obesity Prevention, Nutrition Education and Physical Activity Promotion Using Soul Music
Many health professionals recognize that increasing nutrition literacy should be an essential element of any strategy to reduce obesity in underserved communities. The main objective of this project is to report on the feasibility of developing a HIP-HOP MUSIC CD program that can increase nutrition literacy and help prevent obesity in adolescent African Americans youths. The basic questions to be addressed by this research project proposal are: Can the USDA Food Pyramid, and the U.S. Dietary Guidelines be translated accurately and effectively into a 10 song musical CD program Does music-based messaging provide dissemination and comprehension advantages over traditional health communications techniques such as radio and television PSA's, pamphlets, websites and billboards Can music and melody enhance nutritional knowledge and increase motivation for healthy dietary behavior change in African American youths The summary reporting on the first question would be based on a qualitative post-development evaluation of the Music CD program's content accuracy, by a representative sample of registered dieticians and nutrition educators. The second and third questions would be assessed through quantitative results of a pre-and-post nutritional knowledge questionnaire and a summary analysis of additional qualitative target audience focus groups. The target audience for the Music CD would be African American youths ages 8 to 12. Although music is a widely consumed communications channel among youth, it is under-utilized in health communications. This research proposal would help health communicators and nutrition educators discover if it is possible to take advantage of the popularity of music among African American youth by utilizing music to specifically communicate nutrition literacy. More importantly, society can benefit from a new music-based health communications channel in a number of ways. First, using music to deliver prevention and treatment messages may make those important messages more accessible to youths, illiterate individuals and indigent populations. It has also been shown that increased health communications can lead to a reduction in health disparities, chronic diseases and an improvement in overall public health. Furthermore, music-based nutrition literacy may be more effective and more sustainable than other types of nutrition education, obesity prevention campaigns and interventions. Traditional methods such as billboards, radio and television PSA's are fleeting and expensive, and can only be sustained over a short period of time. On the other hand, songs about health are classic by definition. They can facilitate ongoing, repetitive healthy behavior messaging, and can be developed and disseminated at a fraction of burn rates of media/print production and distribution. In summary, a music-based approach to nutrition literacy and obesity prevention messaging is an innovative communications methodology that challenges existing paradigms in nutrition education and health communications.
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