Video games can promote healthy eating behaviour
Researchers have found out a new innovative way of inculcating healthy eating habits among school children: video-games.
Fruit, juice and vegetable consumption among children is generally low. Innovative programmes are needed to enable children to follow a healthy diet. Psycho-educational multimedia permits the delivery of interventions as designed and capitalises on known behaviour change principles. To see the efficacy of a new video game designed specifically to lower risks of type 2 diabetes and obesity by changing youth diet and physical activity behaviour, researchers made 1578 fourth grade American students play the multimedia game for 5 weeks, with each session lasting about 25 minutes. Four days of dietary intake were assessed before and after the intervention. Assessment was made by the Food Intake Recording Software System (FIRSSt), which conducts a multiple pass, 24-hour dietary intake interview directly with the children.
Children playing the video game increased their fruit, juice and vegetable consumption by about 1 serving per day, but did not increase water consumption or moderate to vigorous physical activity or improve body composition.
The findings show that psycho-educational multimedia games have the potential to substantially change dietary behaviour. However, more research is warranted.
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