The Effectiveness of a Nutrition Education Game ''Food for Thought'' in Influencing the Food Selection Behavior of University Cafeteria Patrons
Because the eating habits of a nation affect its health, methods of influencing those eating habits are very important. Research was undertaken to measure the effects that an American Heart Association nutritional game would have upon the mean caloric intake, the percentage of meals with desserts, and the percentage of consumption of skim milk of patrons of a University Cafeteria. Patron food choices were unobtrosively measured for 16 weeks by means of a computerized cash register inventory system, then the effects of the media-based nutritional game were analyzed by intervention time series analysis. During promotion of the game, patrons of the cafeteria reduced their mean caloric intake by 5 and percentage of desserts by 19 and increased consumption of skim milk by 40•. Of even more significance was the maintenance effects realized after the ''Food for Thought'' game ended. The change in choices persisted after intervention (i.e. after the game). This paper documents the effectiveness of the "Food for Thought” game and also yields results generalizable to similar advertising campaigns and educational program.
Presented at the 17th Annual Convention of the Islamic Medical Association in St. Louis, Missouri, August 10-12, 1984, Prize Award for Best Paper
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