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J Nutr Educ Behav. 2018 Dec 20. pii: S1499-4046(18)30852-2. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2018.10.008. [Epub ahead of print]

A Web-Based Gamification Program to Improve Nutrition Literacy in Families of 3- to 5-Year-Old Children: The Nutriscience Project.

Author information

1
Faculdade de Letras, Universidade do Porto, Porto, Portugal; EPIUnit - Instituto de Saúde Pública, Universidade do Porto, Porto, Portugal. Electronic address: azevedo@letras.up.pt.
2
EPIUnit - Instituto de Saúde Pública, Universidade do Porto, Porto, Portugal; Faculdade de Ciências da Nutrição e Alimentação, Universidade do Porto, Porto, Portugal.
3
Faculdade de Ciências da Nutrição e Alimentação, Universidade do Porto, Porto, Portugal; EpiDoC Unit, Centro de Estudos de Doenças Crónicas (CEDOC) da NOVA Medical School, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal.
4
Faculdade de Ciências da Nutrição e Alimentação, Universidade do Porto, Porto, Portugal.
5
Faculdade de Economia and Center for Economics and Finance, Universidade do Porto, Porto, Portugal.
6
Department of Nutrition, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Assess the impact of a web-based gamification program on nutrition literacy of families and explore differences in impact by socioeconomic status.

DESIGN:

Quasi-experimental.

SETTING:

Thirty-seven kindergartens from Portugal.

PARTICIPANTS:

Eight hundred seventy-seven families.

INTERVENTION:

Web-based social network of participants' interactions, educational materials, apps and nutritional challenges, focused on fruit, vegetables, sugar, and salt.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Parental nutrition literacy (self-reported survey - 4 dimensions: Nutrients, Food portions, Portuguese food wheel groups, Food labeling).

ANALYSIS:

General linear model - Repeated measures was used to analyze the effect on the nutrition literacy score.

RESULTS:

Families uploaded 1267 items (recipes, photographs of challenges) and educators uploaded 327 items (photographs, videos) onto the interactive platform. For the intervention group (n = 106), the final mean (SD) score of nutrition literacy was significantly higher than the baseline: 78.8% (15.6) vs 72.7% (16.2); P < .001, regardless of parental education and perceived income status. No significant differences in the scores of the control group (n = 83) were observed (final 67.8% [16.1] vs initial 66.4% [15.6]; P = .364).

CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS:

Gamified digital interactive platform seems to be a useful, easily adapted educational tool for the healthy eating learning process. Future implementations of the program will benefit from longer time intervention and assessment of the eating habits of families before and after intervention.

KEYWORDS:

families; gamification; kindergarten children; nutrition literacy

PMID:
30579894
DOI:
10.1016/j.jneb.2018.10.008

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