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Research Project: Childhood Obesity Prevention

Location: Children's Nutrition Research Center

Title: Meal-specific dietary changes from Squires Quest! II: A serious video game intervention

Author
item Cullen, Karen - CHILDREN'S NUTRITION RESEARCH CENTER (CNRC)
item Liu, Yan - CHILDREN'S NUTRITION RESEARCH CENTER (CNRC)
item Thompson, Deborah - Debbe

Submitted to: Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/10/2016
Publication Date: 5/9/2016
Publication URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/62496
Citation: Cullen, K.W., Liu, Y., Thompson, D.J. 2016. Meal specific dietary changes from Squires Quest! II: A serious video game intervention. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. 48(5):326-330.

Interpretive Summary: Few children in the US consume the daily recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables (FV). "Squire's Quest! II: Saving the Kingdom of Fivealot" is an online video-game that was successful in helping children eat more FV each day. The game asked the children to set goals and create action or coping plans to help them meet their goals. This study looked at whether there were increases in FV intake for specific meals. Children who created action and coping plans ate more vegetables for dinner. All children ate more fruit at breakfast, lunch, and snacks. Setting meal specific goals and creating action and or coping plans may help children to overcome barriers and consume more FV.

Technical Abstract: "Squire's Quest! II: Saving the Kingdom of Fivealot", an online video-game, promotes fruit-vegetable (FV) consumption. An evaluation study varied type of implementation intentions used during the goal setting process (none; Action, Coping, or both Action + Coping plans). Participants who created Action plans reported higher FV consumption 6 months post baseline. This study assessed changes by specific meal in that study. 400 4th and 5th grade children completed 3 24-hour recalls at baseline and 6 months later. These were averaged to obtain FV intake. Analyses used repeated measures analyses of covariance. There was a significant group by time effect for V at 6 months (p=0.011); Action (p=0.010) and Coping (p=0.036) group participants reported higher V intake at dinner. There were significant F increases at breakfast (p=0.009), lunch (p=0.014) and snack (p<0.001). Setting meal specific goals and action/coping plans may enable children to overcome barriers and consume FV.