The Use of IT to Increase Nutritional Awareness in Young Children

Nayna Patel, Simon Kent, Sarunjit S. Rai


It has been well documented that obesity amongst young children is on the increase. By the age of 5 the level of obesity is alarming and is much greater than expected in comparison to the national standards. To address this problem, an overall health programme is required encompassing healthy eating and physical activity. However, a radical change of this nature has not shown any long-term benefits and can result in a negative attitude from the child. Therefore, more subtleways of increasing awareness in children about healthy eating were thought to be the key. Since children are spending an increasing amount of their free time playing computer games, it was thought that this would be a good way of introducing them to healthy eating. Therefore, a prototype system is developed and tested to identify whether IT can be used to raise nutritional awareness in young children. The results show that the increase is marginal, but the system did encourage discussion about the effects of food amongst a group of children aged between 4-5.

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