Computer game helps kids make healthy food choices

May 17 (UPI)– Researchers at the University of Exeter have actually established a new video game that motivates children to make much healthier food choices.

The seven-minute video game includes children responding to images of healthy food by pushing a button or doing nothing if unhealthy foods were shown.Researchers conducted 2 experiments on more than 200 kids age 4 to 11 who played the video game. For each image, a pleased cartoon face was shown for healthy food and a sad animation face was displayed for unhealthy food.Children were advised to hit the area bar when they saw a pleased face and do

nothing if they saw a sad face. The children then played a shopping game where they were asked to pick a minimal number of food items in one minute.” The sight of foods like chocolate can activate benefit centers in the brain at the very same time as reducing activity in self-control areas,” Lucy Porter, lead researcher from the University of Exeter, said in a press release.”Our training encourages people to make a new association– when they see unhealthy food, they stop. “Children in control groups who were shown pleased and unfortunate animation faces mixed equally in between healthy and unhealthy foods, or images which were not food-related at all, showed no modifications in food choices.” We didn’t see a total turn-around in favor of choosing healthy choices, however these increased from about 30 percent of foods opted to over HALF in kids

who did the brain training,”Porter stated.”Age did not affect whether the video game worked or not, implying that kids as young as four can take advantage of playing.”The research study showed that kids who played the brain-training video game were most likely to make healthy food options compared to kids who did not play the video game.