The use of interactive games enhances nutritional knowledge and healthy lifestyle habits among Chilean elementary school children

Yasna Muñoz, Manuel E.Cortés Cortés, Andrea Alfaro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Children and adolescents spend a considerable time at school; therefore, this is the perfect place to raise awareness about healthy dietary choices and physical activity as key factors for positive children’s lifestyle. At school, teachers may have a long-term impact on students’ well-being. The objective of this study was to determine if interactive games stimulate learning and significantly increase fourth graders’ knowledge about healthy eating. The methodology consisted of designing four interactive games focused on a particular nutritional topic, which were later were played by the fourth graders [29 students from a municipal school (sample S1), and 36 students from a subsidized private school (sample S2)] in the district (comuna) of Villa Alemana, Chile. A questionnaire assessed pre-intervention knowledge and post-intervention learning as follows: fourth graders were asked to respond the questionnaire; then, they were split into 5-student groups and instructed in simple terms to play each of the games. Finally, the children responded the same questionnaire once again. Data were analysed by using descriptive statistics; D’Agostino and Pearson test was used for the assessment of normality, and paired Student’s t test was used for comparison between means. A value of p < 0.05 was considered significant. Regarding results, for sample 1, score means (±SEM) before and after playing were 6.93±0_80 and 11.83±0.95, respectively; p <0_001. For sample 2, score means before and after playing were 7.75±0.74 and 13.94±0.61, respectively, p<0.001. As concluding remarks, interactive games increase the learning of healthy eating habits among primary school students. Thus, they could be replicated in other contexts to impact the learning of healthy eating among students.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)819-823
Number of pages5
JournalAdvanced Science Letters
Volume23
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Healthy lifestyle habits
  • Interactive games
  • Nutritional knowledge
  • Primary school students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Computer Science(all)
  • Education
  • Mathematics(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Energy(all)

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