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Research Project: Childhood Obesity Prevention

Location: Children's Nutrition Research Center

Title: The effectiveness of Squire's Quest II game intervention to increase home availability of fruit and vegetables

Author
item Desmet, Ann - Ghent University
item Liu, Yan - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)
item De Bourdeaudhuij, Ilse - Ghent University
item Baranowski, Tom - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)
item Thompson, Deborah - Debbe

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/16/2015
Publication Date: 6/5/2015
Citation: DeSmet, A., Liu, Y., De Bourdeaudhuij, I., Baranowski, T., Thompson, D.J. 2015. The effectiveness of Squire's Quest II game intervention to increase home availability of fruit and vegetables [abstract]. International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity Annual Conference, June 3-6, 2015, Edinburgh, Scotland. Symposium S2.4.3.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Children's dietary behavior is strongly influenced by their family environment, e.g. by home availability of healthy food. Direct parental involvement, via active involvement in activities, or requiring children to engage their parents, in interventions to change children's dietary behavior is therefore advocated. Squire's Quest II is a 10-episode serious game intervention designed to increase fruit and vegetable (FV) intake among children and was effective in changing children's FV intake. The intervention included goal-setting techniques, encouraged children to involve their parents (e.g. by asking behaviors for putting FV on the shopping list, asking for FV when dining out), and provided supplemental materials for parents via a website and electronic newsletters (e.g. recipes). In this study, we aimed to assess whether children's FV asking behavior influenced home FV availability after the intervention. Data were collected among 400 children (53% female, age range 9-11) and one of their parents, at three time points (baseline (T0), immediately post intervention (T1), 3 months post intervention (T2)). Children were randomly assigned to 4 conditions (n=100 per group), varying in their use of implementation intentions and coping/action planning. Children's asking behavior for FV and FV home availability were assessed in self-report surveys, using 9-item and 40-item scales respectively. Linear mixed models were used in SAS software. Home FV availability at T0 significantly affected availability at T1 and T2 (p<.001). Children's asking behavior at T0 had a borderline significant influence on FV home availability at T1 (p=.06). Children's asking behavior at T1 and T2 significantly predicted home FV availability (p<.01). However, when adding the 4 conditions (which showed no main effect) as an interaction term, the influence of asking behaviors on home availability was no longer significant. Positive effects of increased child's FV asking behavior for home FV availability were observed at follow-up, but not when taking the interaction with the different conditions into account.