Say ‘no’ to food games

If you’re worried about your child’s waistline, then it’s time to ditch the food-themed games.

Dutch researchers found that children who play food-themed online games tend to eat more, and eat more junk food, even if the games feature fruit or other healthful choices, according to an NPR article.

Researchers had 8- to 10-year-olds play a game that featured a popular brand of candy, fruit or a toy. All the games tested the children’s memory skills.

Afterwards, the children were offered bowls of jelly candy, chocolate, sliced bananas and apples.

Researchers thought children would choose snacks similar to the foods in their games. Turns out, all the children who played a food-themed game ate more, and ate more candy, even if they played the fruit game.

According to the NPR article, the children who played food-themed games ate about twice as many calories as children who played a non-food game or played no game at all.

The researchers say food-themed games are more persuasive than just looking at photos of foods because children are actively engaged with the game and are less likely to realize the game is actually an advertisement.

What do you think of the research findings?

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