Food and Health

'Weird Al' Yankovic does a parody of Michael Jackson's
'Beat It'. It's all about trying to get a child to eat. Perhaps
someone could perform it to get an audience engaged.
Then in the same lighthearted spirit talk about better ways to
get to children to eat, as well as advice on a healthy diet

The importance of research
Good market research into the specific target group you want to reach can tell you two things. Firstly what you need to do to change their behaviour. This could be in terms of information, skills, attitudes or improvements in services. Secondly, it can also tell you how to reach them. This is particularly important if they aren't interested in what you have to say. In this case they aren't likely to pick up your leaflet or notice a poster. But if you start from what they're interested in, you may be able to engage them in health this way. Below are some examples of how this might be done.

Pop music
Music about healthy eating could easily be quite dull and unlikely to engage people. However, more humorous songs interspersed with jokes and helpful information might work. 'Weird Al' Yankovic, highlighted above, has done a range of parodies of pop songs with lyrics about food. Some of these songs could potentially be used at health events. Similarly check out some of the tracks on the album, Menopause - The Musical. For more on using pop music click here.

Written word
Research I saw for Sunderland suggested that many people in key target groups liked crosswords. Why not produce free magazines containing a mixture of puzzles about food, recipes and advice? It is now even  possible to download cheap or free software to make your own crosswords. Click here for more information.

One of the key things here would be to ensure that any comedy was done tactfully without making fun of people who are overweight . For more on using comedy click here.

Computer games
There have been a number of computer games around food. For more information click here and scroll down.

As athletes footballers have become interested in diet. This may be an angle of appeal to some target groups. For more on using football click here.

Fashion and beauty
Many make over programmes on TV are about dressing people who are overweight. Local sessions on this that also include dietary advice might be popular. For more on fashion click here.

(For references click here and links click here.)

To download the whole 180 page report on using popular culture to tackle health inequalities click here

To download the PDF software to be able to view these files click here