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Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2017 Apr 21;14(1):51. doi: 10.1186/s12966-017-0506-y.

The effectiveness of asking behaviors among 9-11 year-old children in increasing home availability and children's intake of fruit and vegetables: results from the Squire's Quest II self-regulation game intervention.

Author information

1
Department of Movement and Sport Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Ghent University, Watersportlaan 2, Ghent, Belgium. Ann.DeSmet@ugent.be.
2
USDA/ARS Children's Nutrition Research Center, Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, 1100 Bates St. Houston, TX, 77030, Houston, USA.
3
Department of Movement and Sport Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Ghent University, Watersportlaan 2, Ghent, Belgium.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Home environment has an important influence on children's fruit and vegetable (FV) consumption, but children may in turn also impact their home FV environment, e.g. by asking for FV. The Squire's Quest II serious game intervention aimed to increase asking behaviors to improve home FV availability and children's FV intake. This study's aims were to assess: 1) did asking behaviors at baseline predict home FV availability at baseline (T0) (RQ1); 2) were asking behaviors and home FV availability influenced by the intervention (RQ2); 3) did increases in asking behaviors predict increased home FV availability (RQ3); and 4) did increases in asking behaviors and increases in home FV availability mediate increases in FV intake among children (RQ4)?

METHODS:

This is a secondary analysis of a study using a randomized controlled trial, with 4 groups (each n = 100 child-parent dyads). All groups were analyzed together for this paper since groups did not vary on components relevant to our analysis. All children and parents (n = 400 dyads) received a self-regulation serious game intervention and parent material. The intervention ran for three months. Measurements were taken at baseline, immediately after intervention and at 3-month follow-up. Asking behavior and home FV availability were measured using questionnaires; child FV intake was measured using 24-h dietary recalls. ANCOVA methods (research question 1), linear mixed-effect models (research question 2), and Structural Equation Modeling (research questions 3 and 4) were used.

RESULTS:

Baseline child asking behaviors predicted baseline home FV availability. The intervention increased child asking behaviors and home FV availability. Increases in child asking behaviors, however, did not predict increased home FV availability. Increased child asking behaviors and home FV availability also did not mediate the increases in child FV intake.

CONCLUSIONS:

Children influence their home FV environment through their asking behaviors, which can be enhanced via a serious game intervention. The obtained increases in asking behavior were, however, insufficient to affect home FV availability or intake. Other factors, such as child preferences, sample characteristics, intervention duration and parental direct involvement may play a role and warrant examination in future research.

TRIALS REGISTRATION:

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01004094 . Date registered 10/28/2009.

KEYWORDS:

Fruit; asking behaviors; child; consumption; diet; goal setting; home availability; intervention; serious game; vegetable

PMID:
28431547
PMCID:
PMC5399846
DOI:
10.1186/s12966-017-0506-y
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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