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Health promotion and awareness carnival

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I have written about Health Promotion a bit in the past but over the last few months there’s been quite a lot of talk about it so here I am going to collate it into another carnival of research.

1) Increase the costs to get them doing it.
The Health Belief Model states that we need to evaluate the costs involved before performing a health behaviour – is there threat a percieved risk? Only if we percieve the risk as being high will we then perform a cost-benefit analysis on the health behaviour. Consequently, one way of improving a health behaviour is to make the perceived risk higher and this can be achieved easily by just emphasising what will happen if you don’t do it.

This philosophy is now being applied to the MMR vaccine following research conducted by Purva Abhyankar (research abstract) who thinks that it’s more important to emphasise the protection that is lost by not having the jab. He suggests that we can use prospect theory to understand this:

Prospect theory – our willingness to take risks in the context of possible losses, in contrast to our aversion to taking risks in the context of possible gains. In other words, because people tend to see the MMR vaccine as risky, Prospect Theory suggests it is better to promote the vaccine in terms of what will be lost if that risk isn’t taken, rather than in terms of what might be gained – a prediction that is supported by the current results. [quote]

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2) Health promotion going too far?
There’s a fine line between getting people’s attention through advertising campaigns and actually over arousing them so that they just ignore the message and I’ve raised this before. This time it’s an advert to alert the issues surrounding anorexia.

Isabelle Caro, age 27, has suffered with anorexia for 15 years and weighed just 31 kilograms (approximately 71 pounds) at the time of the photo. The actress from France told Italian Vanity Fair that she began starving herself as a child to please her mother, who disapproved of her escalating weight. Now in recovery, she wants to bring this issue to the masses.

You can see the two advertisements here and here – but be warned the pictures may disturb some readers. What are your thoughts on the pictures? Getting the message across or just going too far?

3) Entertainment for some, education for others.
What do you get when you combine AID’s awareness with Bollywood? Well these videos will give you the answer.

Condom Awareness Video

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AID’s Awareness Video

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These videos, produced by the Nrityanjali Academy, a non-profit voluntary organization that has been working to help those in small villages in Southern India deal with STD’s, HIV, and AIDs, are being used to educate villagers about how to recognize and prevent sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDs.

4) Anti-smoking ads: more harm than good?
Could anti-smoking campaigns actually be causing more teens to turn to smoking rather than their intended effect? Could teenagers actually see the message behind the adverts and see a clear way to rebel against public opinion and their parents? As we learn about in the AS course (and showed recently in Children see, children do) it seems that children are more influenced by their role models which at their age is likely to be peers.

Paek said the data showed middle school students are more likely to be influenced by the perception of what their friends are doing, and that anti-smoking campaigns should be more focused on peer relations. Rather than saying, ‘Don’t smoke,’ it is better to say, ‘Your friends are listening to this message and not smoking. [Quote]

Maybe this should be kept in mind when advertisers are putting together ad campaigns in the future.

Hope you’ve enjoyed the carnival!

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2 Responses to “Health promotion and awareness carnival”

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