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Assessing Educational Television and Videos

April 2, 2013

Choose one edutainment TV program or one 40-60 minute video. Describe it: its title, content, teaching strategies and entertainment/instructional elements (300 words).

McCleary-Jones (2012) found that 50% of adults have low health literacy; health literacy is defined as the ability to understand and use health information. There is a need for consumer health information to be formatted in easy-to-understand and use formats so that adults can make informed decisions that are critical to their health. It is also important for students in the medical field to learn about health literacy and what tools are effective in explaining health information to consumers. Videos can be an effective tool for increasing health literacy.


Supermarkets: Aisles Persuasion. 2012. Produced by Learning Seed.


This video provides information for consumers to use while grocery shopping.  The video shared behind-the-scenes tips about how grocery stores manipulate shoppers to spend more money, typically by purchasing less healthy options. Stores use layout, placement, sale signs, and bigger carts to silently persuade shoppers to spend more time and money. Through using the tips provided in the video, shoppers can save money and purchase more healthy foods. This video is also helpful for Nutrition and Dietetic students to view to learn more about consumer shopping habits and health literacy concepts.

Teaching Strategies and Educational/Entertainment Elements

The video shared statistics about shopping such as stating that 70% of items on typical grocery shopping trips are unplanned. Providing these facts helps make startling statistics more real to the average consumer.

This video showed typical shopping habits in a typical grocery store. The video graphically illustrated the layout of the store and the ‘power perimeter’ that encourages spending more money than anticipated. This strategy allowed viewers to connect scenarios to their own lives, thereby making the lesson more educational and entertaining.

The video showcased store practices. It focused specifically on:

  • Grocery Stores encourage you to spend more time in them than is needed
  • Grocery Stores encourage you to spent more money than you intended to spend, often on unhealthy processed food items
  • Stores want you to feel good about spending more time and money in the store

The video concludes with strategies that consumers can use to reduce time and money in the grocery store. This typically leads to healthier trips as well. For example, research shows that shoppers who spend more than 40 minutes in a grocery store buy snacks like potato chips, while shoppers who spend less than 10 minutes in the store do not buy those items. Therefore, grocery stores try to keep you in the store longer, but a shorter trip will save the shopper money and be more healthy.

Mccleary-Jones, V. (2012). Assessing Nursing Students’ Knowledge of Health Literacy. Nurse Educator, 37(5), 214–217.

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