Title

SWISS FOODQUIZ: INDUCING NUTRITIONAL KNOWLEDGE VIA A VISUAL LEARNING BASED SERIOUS GAME

Abstract

Nutritional education programs have been proposed to counter the trend of excessive energy intake, identified as the main driver of overweight. Still, due to lack of resources, only a small part of society can be included in these personnel-intensive programs. Health information systems (HIS) in nutritional education have the potential to overcome these limitations, but still suffer under low end-user acceptance and interaction rates. Their current focus lies in abstract, too generic behavioural recommendations, which the end user cannot directly translate into health-beneficial real-world choices. In order to address these issues, we have built an automatic HIS prototype tailored to support the average consumer in gaining nutritional knowledge by applying paradigms from visual learning and serious gaming, established approaches in related fields to improves users’ acceptance, motivation, intention and ultimately likelihood for health-beneficial behaviour changes. Preliminary results of a study with 350 users show high acceptance rates even for previously uninvolved users and measurable gains in nutritional knowledge over the usage phase. With the approach suggested in this paper, it can be shown that the extension of serious game principles to nutritional education can overcome contemporary HIS shortcomings of low acceptance and interaction rates among average, uninvolved and unhealthy users.

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