The objectives of the study were: (1) To study the effectiveness of the newly emerging Big Media, like, Television in the dissemination of Nutrition Information. (2) To study the role played by Little Media in creating a demand for the identified Nutrition related health services viz., anemia and prophylaxis programme currently being implemented under the National Nutrition Programme.
Using Stratified Quota Sampling Procedure, 3,000 Television viewers representing Urban, Semi-urban and Rural segments of study area were selected. The target population of the study consisted of all beneficiaries of National Nutritional Anemia Prophylaxis Progamme (NNAPP) and ten percent households representing general population (non-beneficiaries).A pre tested Interview Schedule developed in the local language was used to collect information. The second study was carried out in twelve villages falling under Yacharam Primary Health Center which was selected randomly from the Ranga Reddy District of Andhra Pradesh.Survey Method
The major findings of the study were: (1) Though current level of viewer-ship for educational as well as special audience programmes in general and specific health and nutrition programmes in particular was low, the potential demand for these programmes appeared to be high. (2) Messages on health and nutrition in the form of public service advertisements could command good viewer ship. (3) The credibility of TV as a source of health and nutrition information was found to be high, though a very small percentage of viewers were currently following the instructions given through TV, majority of viewers were positive and willing to put then into practice. (4) A very strong and positive correlation was found between preference for educational programmes and information programmes. (5) Viewers belonging to low literacy, occupation, income and caste groups could not take full advantage of educational programmes on TV. Both female respondents and housewives appeared to have benefited much out of health and nutrition programmes. A sizable number of viewer realized the hidden persuaders in food related advertisements and branded them as misguiding and misleading. (6) The approval given by the majority of audience to the creative methods used in the dissemination of health and nutrition messages in the form of public service advertisements spoke of the impact of short and crisp messages. (7) The pedagogical potential of TV for health and nutrition education could be improved / enhanced by facilitating closer interaction among subject specialists representing the fields, like, health, nutrition, agriculture, education and media experts in-charge of the planning and production of educational programmes. (8) Following educational intervention, the beneficiary compliance of NNAPP was found to be significantly improved, but the coverage of child population under NNAPP was found to be negligible. (9) In comparison with the initial scores, post- educational intervention scores obtained for Knowledge of anemia and iron rich foods were higher among general community members, whereas beneficiaries scored higher for Knowledge and utilization of NNAPP.
Keyword(s): Nutrition Education