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Location: Children's Nutrition Research Center

Title: Alpha test of a videogame to increase children's vegetable consumption

item Beltran, Alicia
item O'connor, Teresia
item Hughes, Sheryl
item Baranowski, Janice
item Nicklas, Theresa
item Thompson, Deborah - Debbe
item Baranowski, Tom

Submitted to: The Games for Health Journal: Research, Development, and Clinical Applications
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/2/2012
Publication Date: 6/1/2012
Citation: Beltran, A., O'Connor, T., Hughes, S., Baranowski, J., Nicklas, T., Thompson, D., Baranowski, T. 2012. Alpha test of a videogame to increase children's vegetable consumption. The Games for Health Journal: Research, Development, and Clinical Applications. 1(3):219-222.

Interpretive Summary: Parents do many things to influence their children's dietary intake; these have been called food parenting practices. Videogames offer a mechanism by which parents can be trained in effectively changing their child's dietary behavior. An episode of a video game aimed at improving parenting practices relative to increasing their child's vegetable intake was tested with 16 parents of preschool children. Interviews with the parents indicated they generally enjoyed the episode, and they made a variety of suggestions to make it better. The game may have positive acceptance among parents with only minor modifications. A videogame play could help parents learn effective ways to get their children to eat their vegetables.

Technical Abstract: This is a report of an alpha test with a computer of one episode of a casual videogame smartphone application, called Kiddio Food Fight (Archimage Inc., Houston, TX), targeted at training parents to increase their 3– to 5-year-old child's vegetable consumption. This was a qualitative study using semistructured interviews. Sixteen parents from three ethnic groups living with their 3– to 5-year-old child were recruited. Parents provided screening information and informed consent, and played the videogame. Afterward, semistructured intensive interviews were conducted about their experience. Parents generally liked the game. Their suggestions included a reduced list of values, rewording of reasons statements, an improved storyline, and feedback during and at the end of the game. The scoring system was ignored or confusing. Problems with the tool bar and game navigation caused problems in performance. A tutorial was requested. Kiddio Food Fight could have positive acceptance among parents with minor modifications.