Objective: The present study investigated whether a health game can be used to affect children's implicit attitudes toward food (IAsTF) and subsequent snack choices. Materials and Methods: The health game used was based on an evaluative conditioning paradigm. The experiment followed a between-subjects design with two conditions (health game vs. control), N = 79 (12.42 years ±1.64, body mass index: 25.06 ± 7.40). IAsTF were assessed at baseline and postintervention using an implicit association test (IAT). Baseline IAT scores were used to categorize IAsTF as healthy (favoring fruits) versus unhealthy IAsTF (favoring chocolates). In addition, three digital snack choices were recorded. Results: No main effect of condition on posttest IAsTF was found. However, baseline IAsTF moderated the effect of condition on posttest IAsTF; participants with less healthy baseline IAsTF playing the health game had healthier posttest IAsTF compared to those playing the control game. Regarding the snack choices, participants playing the health game favored fruit over chocolate in one of the snack choices. Baseline IAsTF did not moderate the effect of condition on snack choices. Conclusion: Tentative support was found that health games can be used to improve IAsTF, in particular among participants with less healthy ones at baseline.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The Behavioural Science Institute, Radboud University funded this research.
© 2020, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.